Guest Blog: Chief Strategy Officer and Interim CEO – Toni Lemon
Getting out and watching front line health care in action is an important way that we connect with patients and providers across Waterloo Wellington. Earlier this week, I was privileged to join the staff at the Grandview Medical Centre Family Health Team in Cambridge and share in their experience providing care. Grandview is a multi-disciplinary team of 16 family physicians, over 20 nurses, nurse clinicians, registered dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, support staff, health promoters, as well as a mental health team. Onsite services at Grandview include chiropody, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, a vascular clinic, memory clinic and much more. Primary care is critically important in shaping the health of people in our communities. Timely access to care, support and education to manage illnesses and chronic diseases and connections to specialists when needed are some of the ways that our primary care providers work to provide patient-centered care.
I joined Dr. Anil Maheshwari for a couple of his afternoon patient visits. One patient who required a diagnostic x-ray was able to pop downstairs to quickly have this done. Instead of writing a requisition for his patient to take with her to make an appointment for the test on another day, she was simply sent to the x-ray clinic located in the same building. This allowed Dr. Maheshwari to receive the results electronically almost instantly and he and his patient could determine a course of action, right there during the same appointment. I also heard from patients and physicians about the value of the electronic communication that has been used at Grandview. Use of a web portal, and email allows for faster communication, less anxiety and better patient and provider experience for many.
Later in the afternoon, I spent some time with Grandview’s on-site diabetes education group. This is a group of patients that meet with their physician, a nurse and each other a few times each year to discuss their test results, learn new information, share care tips and support with each other. Participants choose the topics or issues that are important to them for upcoming sessions and staff prepare with education, resources and tips. Patients said the group helps them feel like they are not alone and isolated in managing their diabetes and it allows staff to provide quality care to more patients, faster.
This is patient-centered care.
The team at Grandview Medical Family Health Team have developed partnerships and services that gather the services that patients need most in one location, with easy access. We know that not all patients and primary care providers have been able to develop this. Enhancing equity across Waterloo Wellington and learning from the experience of patients, physicians, allied professionals and staff at places like Grandview is an important part of continuing to build high quality, accessible care for all residents in Waterloo Wellington.
Thank you to all of the staff and patients at Grandview for sharing your time with me. It was a fantastic visit.