Doctors and nurses team up

Patients might see nurses at a clinic instead of just the hospital, as doctors at three clinics in Maple Ridge have added an RN to...

  • Oct. 20, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Patients might see nurses at a clinic instead of just the hospital, as doctors at three clinics in Maple Ridge have added an RN to their team, in a pilot project aimed at giving patients better care.

The Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, best known for recruiting doctors to the community through the program A GP For Me, has taken on the project, which sees doctors and nurses working as part of a clinic team.

This approach is being tested at the Golden Ears Family Practice, the Fraser Medical Clinic and the Mageta Family Medical Clinic. Early results are showing that patient and family doctor satisfaction is on the rise, said the division.

Patients at these three clinics are able to spend time with a nurse who can help them with managing complex and chronic diseases, provide them with information about health care, offer immunizations and connect them with other community resources. These are important functions that doctors often do not have the time to provide, said executive director Treena Innes.

“Although only three months into the project, there have been significant benefits to patients, staff in the office and doctors,” said Dr. Catherine Pattinson, one of the doctors who has integrated a registered nurse into her team.

“Having a registered nurse on staff has helped me better meet the total health needs of my patients. I know that I don’t have to worry about my diabetic patients getting regular foot examinations, and if those who need end of life care or referrals to community services are getting what they need.”

Dr. Ursula Luitingh has also integrated a registered nurse as part of her team. “The nurse has been very well-received by patients,” said Luitingh. “She has helped patients to improve their overall health by getting involved in the community to find resources my patients need. I have the confidence that she has the necessary training and clinical expertise that allows her to work with patients to make sure they understand and can follow their care plans.”

One patient at the Mageta Family Medical Clinic said the nurse there “…was very informative and understanding,” while another said: “Keep this nurse. I can see it will work.”

The Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice is a non-profit group of local doctors who cooperate to help patients get better access to primary care.