September 2022
From the Primary Care Alliance
As you will have heard, the negotiated agreement between physicians and the province has been ratified. Just over 70% of our voting members felt there were significant enough positives within the agreement to move forward with a contract that runs for the next four years to 2026. It is my hope this will allow for some system stability, so we can begin work on other urgent issues in primary care. 

With negotiations over, we need to shift swiftly from talk to actions. As doctors, we know that the agreement alone will not solve the Alberta family medicine crisis and the longstanding difficulties in the system that were accelerated by the COVID pandemic. Staff and physician shortages, service challenges and other issues with practice viability continue to plague our communities and those volatilities remain in the wake of ratification.

If we are to begin rebuilding and reshaping our healthcare system, then our real focus needs to shift to leveraging any and all opportunities to reconstruct family medicine and the Patients Medical Home in Alberta. 
The province’s MAPS (
Modernizing Alberta's Primary Health Care System) initiative, the Primary Care Network Funding Working Group, and other partnership prospects contained within the agreement, speak to critical opportunities we must capitalize on for true system reform. 

While recognizing the need for change and improvement is the first step, we need to see further tangible action that acknowledges the importance of a robust primary health care sector, one that finds family physicians working in a stable and supported environment. This will be the true test of provincial commitment to a partnership with physicians, focused on jointly tackling our health care issues. 

Dr. Brad Bahler
Primary Care Alliance

How you can improve the continuity of care for your patients  - Podcast

Westview PCN set an ambitious goal to have 75% of member clinics live on CII/CPAR by 2021.
Tune into this episode of Alberta Doctors’ Digest podcast with Dr. Carla Laidlaw to hear how their PCN hit new heights with an amazing 93% uptake in the program.

Listen at the link below.

Scaling up Primary Healthcare Transformation in Alberta

In a newly posted video, family physician and researcher Dr. Lee Green, discusses how to scale up primary care transformation in Alberta using a skilled workforce of practice facilitators and physician champions. He talks about the wins for patients, providers and teams, and the health system overall.
The 15-minute video includes reference to Alberta-sourced research about scaling up change. You can read a
one-page summary of the report he references or the full research report

Watch the video at the link below.

Join Dr. Shelley Howk on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. for Alberta College of Family Physicians' Virtual Doctors Lounge - PPIP Talk With CPSA to learn more about the CPSA’s Physician Practice Improvement Program (PPIP).

Additional details and registration available soon!
More free privacy training available!

The AMA has launch even more free privacy training for primary care physicians and their teams. Fundamental and Advanced Privacy Training is available, and physicians can earn up to 7.75 Mainpro+ credits.

Sign up your clinic today!

COVID-19 Resources 

Social prescribing resources for COVID-19 and beyond
If you’re looking for resources around social prescribing as we move into the fall, check out the Reducing the Impact of Financial Strain website. It’s packed with ideas for supporting patients who have financial concerns. You’ll find video stories and ideas for primary care providers and teams on how to tackle this complex challenge with patients and other partners.
In addition, on the
Accelerating Change Transformation Team website, you will find a change package and tools to help with implementation into practice, along with videos and a training link. 

Getting the update: FAST
As you may know, Alberta FAST (Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment) is a central access and intake program for referrals to specialists. Through a phased approach, a FAST program is launching in each geographic zone. Fourteen specialties are in queue to join FAST through 2024. Please note the change in fax number.
North Zone – Orthopaedics and Urology
Central Zone – Orthopaedics, Urology, and Cataracts-specific Ophthalmology
South Zone - Urology (Aug. 15) and Orthopaedics (Oct. 1)
Visit the Alberta Surgical Initiative
web page for more information and email the
FAST office or phone 1-833-553-3278 (833-553-FAST) with any questions.
CPSA Consultation 024 is now open
Physicians can provide their feedback on the draft College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Restricted Activities standard of practice. Consultation closes Oct. 19.  Council approved the draft Restricted Activities standard of practice for consultation during their September meeting and are seeking your feedback on this standard.
Connect Care: A Primary Care Primer - webinar
Wondering how Connect Care will impact your workflow? The Primary Health Care team at AHS has answers and tips for you, and wants to hear your questions. Join the Oct. 12 webinar to find out how the Connect Care launch will change processes for primary care providers and staff, and how those changes can help improve transitions in care. It’s part of the Home to Hospital to Home Transitions Guideline initiative. Presenters include Dr. Steve Turner, Associate Zone Medical Director / Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, Central Zone, AHS.
The webinar is ideal for those in zones where Connect Care is launched or coming soon but is also useful for anyone looking down the road to their own zone’s launch.
There are two sessions to choose from—click below for more information and to register.

Oct. 12, 10:00–11:00 a.m. session 
Oct. 12, 4:30–5:30 p.m. session  
Dieticians Adding Value to Primary Care - webinar 
The Canadian Malnutrition Task force and the Canadian Nutrition Society invite you to their Oct. 4 webinar, led by dietitians working in a primary care multidisciplinary team. The webinar outlines a service model for supporting frail and malnourished people in primary care. More information and registration
Is the surgical referral system working for you and your patients?
Health care providers are invited to share their experiences with the surgical referral process in Alberta. The aim is to provide feedback to help improve the system. Participant responses are completely anonymous. This study is conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta (UofA) with approval from the UofA ethics board (ID: Pro00114572). Survey link.
Have your say in improving cancer care
A team of researchers at the University of Alberta led by Dr. Lee Green, and in collaboration with the AHS Cancer Strategic Clinical Network are inviting physicians to participate in a “Cognitive Task Analysis Concept Mapping” study which will help to gain insight into the experience of navigating a cancer diagnosis. Your voice will help the team understand and improve cancer care, experiences, and outcomes in Alberta.
The team is looking to conduct a 90-minute Zoom interview of family physicians, using a tool called concept mapping. Honorariums may be offered.
Please contact
Tanya Barber for more information.

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