Saturday, February 4, 2012

Here is a good idea: efforts to improve physician access

Retirement Homes
We need much more coordination of services. In fact, if you are in a retirement home you must make special arrangements to be taken to a physician. Either your family, or if you live in a residence with a bus, you can depend upon them. The issue with this, in my opinion, is that seniors ought not to go to appointments alone. Family members need to go with them to take notes, ask helpful questions or to clarify. My husband has a hard time hearing our doctor. This is another issue.

LTC
If you are in long-term care (LTC), you often have to depend upon the institutional physician and his/her weekly visit to the facility. Juggle that with the other 200 residents, and you are likely having issues having your needs met.
Compound this with the increasing number of complex co-morbidities in LTC, and you will find that these physicians are often not geriatricians. I have friends in LTC with MS, spinal stenosis, strokes, dementia, and require up-to-date physicians, with a varied background in many specific medical issues. My late father's delirium went unnoticed by several doctors.

This doctor is in Champlain LHIN, not my local area Southeast LHIN. I hope lessons learned will be shared with the various LHINs.

Find your LHIN in Ontario.

Doctor to spearhead LHIN efforts to improve access to family physicians

Dr. Jacques Lemelin has been charged with helping Eastern Ontario’s health board organize the region’s 1,100 family doctors so that they work more closely with each other as well as with hospitals, home-care agencies and nursing homes

· Increasing the number of patients who can get appointments to see a family doctor after hours and on weekends;
· Shortening wait times at hospital emergency rooms by reducing the number of patients who use ERs as clinics of last resort;
· Cutting costs by reducing the duplication of diagnostic tests whenever lab reports sent to physicians go missing or arrive late;
· Reducing medical errors by improving communication among family doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, emergency physicians and medical specialists.

Ontario Local Health Integration Networks
Ontario LHINs

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