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At Winterberry, we’re not only committed to practicing quality medicine, we’re committed to improving it. One of the biggest concerns with healthcare today is timely access. In response to this challenge, we’ve adopted a same-day/advanced access appointment scheduling, adopted a team approach to medicine that is overseen by Physicians but engages other other qualified professionals such as Nurse Practitioners (NP), Physician Assistants (PA) and Registered Nurses (RN) as appropriate and via Medical Directives when appropriate, and embrace the use of Telemedicine via the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)
As recommended by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the idea behind same-day/advanced access scheduling is that you see today’s work today, not in the future. For most people this is a new concept that many patients (and staff) meet with hesitation, but research has indicated it provides better access and better care for patients long term once the system matures. The model does recognize that some patients do not have the ability to book same day appointments for a variety of reasons and therefore we also offer a limited number of pre-booked appointments to accomodate.
At Winterberry, we’re privileged to offer the services of Nurse Practitioners (see HealthForceOntario link for complete description here). Nurse Practitioners hold advanced nursing degrees 3 and can provide many services Physicians can offer (including examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, prescriptions, renewals) independently of Physicians. Furthermore, NPs that work along-side a Physician can expand their scope even further to provide you the range of medical services you may require, at any time. Having NPs as part of our team allows patients better access to full-range medical care when you need it.
Along with Nurse Practitioners, PAs have advanced university degrees 4 and are able to help diagnose, investigate, treat and prescribe under the guidance of a Physician (see HealthForceOntario link for complete descriptions here). Again the goal of PAs is to improve patient access to quality care and avoid urgent-care, ER or walk-in visits and we have been supported by HealthForceOntario in the implementation of PAs at Winterberry.
Winterberry is privileged to be a member of the Hamilton Family Health Team (HFHT). With the support of the HFHT and the Physicians at Winterberry, we’ve created a list of services that can be safely and efficiently delivered to you through our Registered Nurses, whom have had appropriate (and often times extra) training in the multitude of services they provide. Alongside the Physician, our RNs are able to conduct preventive health assessments, maintenance diabetic visits, blood pressure checks, well baby exams, prenatal exams, well woman and male checks, urinary tract infections, and many others. Again the idea behind care being provided by RNs alongside Physicians is that you have greater access to care when you need it – creating a health care ‘team’ that you can appropriately access when needed.
Medical Directives are tools Physicians use to provide care to patients via Non-Physicians safely and effectively. As the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario suggests Medical Directives and Delegation to other appropriately trained healthcare providers in certain circumstances “can result in more timely delivery of health care, and can promote optimal use of healthcare resources and personnel.” 5.
SickKids in Toronto uses Medical Directives and reports "In an era of physician shortages, medical directives provide a method of supporting inter-professional team based care. Our experience building this alternate care model via medical directive management has culminated in a framework of critical appraisal, review, approval and evaluation coupled with document management innovations. These structures and processes produce safe and positive outcomes that increase access within a continually evolving framework that ensures rigour and accountability.
For more information on medical directives, and see how such organizations like SickKids use them, click here.
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325 Winterberry Dr., Suite 206
Hamilton ON L8J 0B6
Free parking on site
Mon. to Sat.: 8am-4:30pm
Evenings and Weekends - please inquire