Prairie North regional review celebrates improvements


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June 2, 2015 8:15 AM

Prairie North Health Region showed presentations celebrating recent improvements at their regional meeting on May 29 at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds. - Jaime Polmateer

Prairie North Health Region had its regional review at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds last week, where they showed presentations that highlighted some of the work that has been done to better patient care and improve the care provider experience.

One of the big improvements was the relocation of the primary health centre on March 1 to its location at the former Co-op Plaza, where it now has more space and offers an increase in the number of available physicians.

Patient advocate Connie Guhl, who acted as a voice of the public during the relocation, was involved by offering ideas and said some of her main suggestions were around better wait times and making a friendlier atmosphere.

“(It’s) a nice, comforting environment that you didn’t feel like you were just another number there. That they actually cared,” she said. “The one really big thing that’s not mentioned that much about the clinic is about the bariatric (care) and the lift for those patients that are maybe unable to get up out of their wheelchairs, that need the facilities changed for them, they no longer have to go to the hospital, it’s right there for the doctors to use.”

Paula Petruk, primary health care team manager, said they’ll be making continuous improvements to the centre, along with the improvements that have already been made, like the walk-in clinic and access to multi-disciplinary care.

“We’re going to be doing a bit of modifications to the front entrance. We’re going to have nine physicians and we have a registered nurse and a mental health counsellor that work out of the clinic, so we’re really excited about having this in Lloydminster and being able to provide a greater access for patients,” said Petruk.

“We have a walk-in clinic that goes until 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday. So really making health care available for people in Lloydminster, it’s very exciting to be a part of that.”

See “PNHR review,” Page 12

Other improvements have also been made at the Lloydminster Hospital where there was a need for better service regarding respiratory therapy. Previously the respiratory therapist was available from Monday to Friday, but now patients have 24-hour access to that service, which is seen as a big improvement.

Surgeries are also an area that have seen improvements at the hospital and through some rapid process improvement workshops (RPIWs) they managed to meet their targets regarding wait lists.

“We have two theatres and we have quite a few surgeons there, so through that we had capacity issues and we had to really look at how we were doing things,” said Lori Noyes, director of acute care services for Lloydminster Hospital. “We were able to do surgeries and do some extended hours and meet our targets in the amount of surgeries that we did this year as well as met our three month wait list and our wait list for our cancer surgeries.”

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