Important Notice to Patients
Dear Westgrove Clinic Patients,
Westgrove Clinic has always based our practice around the “Patient's Medical Home” model. As your Medical Home we are focused on offering the care you need, in your community, when you need it. Ensuring accessibility to care with your primary care team remains our top priority.
Westgrove Clinic has entered into a new team based model with Alberta Health. This model allows for patients to see a variety of health professionals within our office, which allows us to spend more time in a visit managing health and wellness proactively. These healthcare providers include doctors, pharmacists, nurses, mental health providers and other health team members. A great benefit of this model is that we can expand our care team and improve our availability. Our care delivery is based on health teams working together to provide thorough and comprehensive patient-centered care; what does this mean to you? Instead of seeing a doctor at every visit, you may (for example) see a pharmacist for a prescription refill, or a nurse for women’s health exams.
One of the requirements of this new model is to clearly identify who are patients of our clinic, and this is done by having each patient sign an affiliation form. By signing this form you will be attached to Westgrove Clinic and agree to contact us first for your medical needs (before going to a walk-in clinic). This also means that if you access primary care elsewhere (i.e. a walk-in clinic) we are notified, and this pulls funds and resources away from your Medical Home. Every possible opportunity to provide care for you at the Westgrove Clinic will be made available to ensure you can be seen as needed. We recognize that urgent needs will arise and, as always, Emergency Room visits remain available to you.
Thank you for choosing Westgrove Clinic to be your Medical Home. We look forward to continuing to provide exceptional care for you and your family. If you have any questions, please visit www.westgroveclinic.ca/BCM and review the Frequently Asked Questions section, if you don't see the answer to your question, email us at [email protected] or schedule an appointment with your family doctor.
Your Westgrove Clinic Team
Q: What changes for me?
A: We will have more appointments available – you may be able to be seen sooner in clinic
Q: Is there an additional fee to patients over and above Alberta Health Care?
A: There will be no additional fees at your end, your healthcare continues to be covered by the provincial Alberta Health Care (AHC) insurance plan. There are still services we provide that are not covered by AHC (ie: missed appointment fee, insurance forms, travel injections, drivers licence medicals etc.) those uninsured services remain an out-of-pocket cost to you.
Q: I am curious about the written commitment to contact you first for medical needs. As a patient, am I somehow penalized if I do not do that? For example, if I’m traveling and in another city and need medical care, am I prevented from visiting a walk in clinic?
A: We are committed to providing care to our patients in need. If you are out of town and need care, we may be able to provide that to you virtually (ie book a telephone appointment and/or use secure email). There are many conditions that can be treated virtually, if you’re not sure, please call the clinic to ask and we can help guide you.
Of course we realize that some needs cannot be dealt with over the phone and at times, patients will need to receive care elsewhere. You will not be financially penalized; in this event Alberta Health will take money away from Westgrove Clinic – so you can imagine if a lot of patients go to walk in clinics that can cause a problem for us! We will be notified by Alberta Health when a patient receives care from a general practitioner (family or walk-in doctor) outside of Westgrove Clinic, and will for the first year be monitoring where and why this is happening and try to come up with strategies to help our patients avoid this where at all possible.
We’re not saying you can’t go elsewhere, we’re asking that you contact us first if you need care, to give us the opportunity to help you before you make the choice to go somewhere else.
To be clear – if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, don’t hesitate – go straight to an emergency room for treatment.
Q: What should I do if I can’t get an appointment with a doctor or nurse at Westgrove Clinic?
A: If you can’t be seen by any health care providers at Westgrove Clinic in a timeframe suitable to your needs, we recommend booking an appointment with the Westview PCN Virtual Care Clinic. This clinic books video appointments on Monday & Tuesday afternoon/evenings and Wednesday & Thursday morning/afternoons. Appointments can be booked online at: https://www.westviewpcn.ca/virtual-care-clinic
If you have run out of a regular medication please contact your pharmacy and ask if they can give you an extension of the prescription until you can get an appointment. Most medications may be extended by your pharmacist (with the exception of opioids or other controlled substances).
If you need urgent care after hours or on a weekend and cannot wait until business hours, please call 811 to speak with a nurse for health advice, in some urgent cases they will connect you with an on-call doctor.
Q: I can never get through to Westgrove or wait on hold for long periods and get cut off, how am I supposed to commit to contacting Westgrove first if I need to be seen right away?
A: We recently installed a new phone system and have added to our reception team to have more people available to answer your calls.
We have had online booking active for quite some time, although that does require a Medeo account unique to each patient (ie- parent can't book for child through the parent's account) so we understand that that is also not ideal for parents, but somewhat helpful if you're trying to avoid the phone system (you can create Medeo accounts for your kids by using “alias” email addresses – check out this guide or this guide if you’d like more info on that).
Q: My family doctor is a male and I am female, I’m not comfortable seeing him for women’s health issues (ie: pap test), I normally go to the Women’s Health Clinic for this – what should I do?
A: We will accommodate you by booking any sensitive women’s health issues with one of our female health team members here at Westgrove Clinic, please specify that you would like to see a female provider for the appointment.
If you are due for an annual physical you may be booked with your male family doctor for the larger part of the exam, and have a separate appointment booked with a female doctor or nurse for any pelvic exams.
Q: I was referred to a specialist, can I still go to that appointment?
A: Yes! We only encounter an issue when you see a "general practitioner" (family doctor) at another office. We encourage you to attend any appointments that require a referral.
In addition to physician-specialists (ie: dermatologist, gastroenterologist etc), you are still welcome to receive care from any physiotherapist, chiropractor, naturopath, pharmacist or acupuncturist of your choice as they are not classified as a family doctor.
Q: Do my children under 18 need to have an Affiliation form signed, and as their parent can I sign on their behalf?
A: Yes, every patient will need to have a completed affiliation form. Parents can sign for their children under the age of 18.
Q: I am a caregiver/legal guardian/decision maker for a person over the age of 18, do I need to complete and sign the affiliation form on their behalf?
A: Yes, you will need to complete and sign the affiliation form, and you may have to provide proof that you can legally act for this individual (under section 104 of Alberta’s Health
Information Act) if we don't already have a copy of proof on file. Please see our privacy page if you have questions about acting on behalf of another individual and providing consent.
Q: I've been told I'll have to sign an affiliation form at one of my next appointments but I don’t have any appointments scheduled and don’t come in often, should I make an appointment to get the form signed?
A: We have until Feb 1, 2023 to have all our patients sign an affiliation form. If you don’t have an appointment booked over the next year, you don’t need to book one just to sign the form. You can stop into the clinic at any time and speak with our reception staff at the front desk to request the form. Once we get closer to our deadline, we will be calling patients to remind them that this needs to be done, we will make every effort to ensure all of our patients have an opportunity to complete the affiliation form within the allotted timeframe.
Q: Can I get an electronic copy of the affiliation form, sign it and email the completed form to the clinic?
A: We do require the original signed form, with an original ink signature. We cannot accept electronic signatures, scanned copies, photographs, or photocopies. Click here for a printable copy of the affiliation form that you can review/print/sign at home and drop off at the clinic.
Q: What happens if I choose not to sign an affiliation form?
A: If the form is not signed by our initial cutoff date, we would reach out to you to confirm whether you intend to stay on as a patient with us here at Westgrove Clinic. If you choose not to sign an affiliation form, you would be confirming that you do not want to continue being a patient here at Westgrove, and you would be responsible for finding a new family doctor. After that, under certain circumstances, we could provide you with care up to two times in a two year period.
Q: What is a "Medical Home"?
A: The medical home, also known as the patient-centered medical home, is a team-based health care delivery model led by a health care provider to provide comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients with a goal to obtain maximal health outcomes. Simply put, a medical home is your home base in the health care system. It is where your family physician coordinates your health needs in collaboration with other care providers in your health neighbourhood, such as nurses, pharmacists, dieticians and social workers.
Q: My doctor mentioned "Continuity of Care", what is that and does it matter to me?
A: Continuity of Care is when a patient consitently sees the same family doctor and team (primary care team). Continuity of care is about improving patients health through stronger, ongoing relationships with their primary care team, increased information sharing among the team, and enhanced care coordination. Having a good relationship with a primary care team and being strongly “attached” to a family doctor benefits your health in a number of ways. Being strongly “attached” means seeing your primary care team whenever it is possible. If your primary care team is always your go-to for health concerns, then they are aware of all your health issues and can help you make more informed health decisions.
A high level of Continuity of Care results in:
1. Increased patient satisfaction
2. Increased health care screening
3. Increased efficiency of diagnosis
4. Improved outcomes of chronic disease
5. Decreased emergency room visits
6. Decreased hospital admissions
7. Decreased diagnostic tests rate
8. Decreased prescription rate
Q: I have a family member or friend that needs a family doctor, can they get into Westgrove Clinic now?
A: Some of our doctors may be accepting a limited number of new patients, these patients will be onboarded in stages, not all at once. We don't have a schedule for when this happens so you can inquire with the reception staff periodically if any physicians are taking new patients by calling (780) 962-9888 ext. 1. Once a doctor opens their practice, a new patient will be booked for a "Meet & Greet" appointment to discuss medical history and get to know the doctor.
For more information on the Blended Capitation Model, please visit one of the websites listed below.
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