Nurse Led Prac­ti­tioner Clin­ics pro­vide pri­mary care

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Ab­bott

Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Week was cel­e­brated Thurs­day, Nov. 15 at Inger­soll Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Led Clinic, rec­og­niz­ing their work as es­sen­tial team-based care mem­bers in the com­mu­nity, ser­vic­ing Ox­ford County.

“We are a clinic of four nurse prac­ti­cioners, two coun­sel­lors, chronic dis­ease co­or­di­na­tor and some ad­min sup­port, that work to­gether as a team to pro­vide pri­mary care to peo­ple in Ox­ford County,” said Sue Tobin, Inger­soll NPLC.

“A lot of peo­ple ask us how we’re dif­fer­ent from a fam­ily doc­tor. Ba­si­cally, the dif­fer­ence is that be­cause we’re nurses... we are ad­dress­ing is­sues from a nurs­ing per­spec­tive.”

That in­cludes pre­ven­tion and self-man­age­ment. When a per­son comes in with high blood pres­sure, they can write a pre­scrip­tion, or­der di­ag­nos­tic tests, re­fer to spe­cial­ists, but they also talk about how they can im­prove their life­style.

“And help­ing them to set goals as well.”

They re­mind pa­tients who might visit four times a year that their health is their re­spon­si­bil­ity for the other 361 days. We help them to be healthy on those other days and re­ally make them a true part­ner.

“I think one of the big bonuses, and the rea­son that we are able to do this, is that we are salaried. So we don’t bill OHIP. So there isn’t any in­cen­tive for us to see more peo­ple, there’s no dis­in­cen­tive to not see as many peo­ple. We’re all salaried. So we can do what’s best for the pa­tient, and we get paid ex­actly the same at the end of the day.”

The clinic, one of 26 in the province, is 100 per cent funded by Min­istry of Health. The first Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Led Clinic (NPLC) opened 12 years ago in Sud­bury, and the Inger­soll NPLC has been open for seven years.

“We see, right now, about 2,400 pa­tients - that’s just reg­is­tered pa­tients. We also pro­vide ser­vices to non-reg­is­tered pa­tients,” she said, not­ing the non-reg­is­tered pa­tients in­clude ad­dic­tions and chronic dis­eases.”


Inger­soll NPLC has sub­mit­ted a pro­posal to the Min­istry of Health to open a satel­lite clinic in Till­son­burg.

“One of the rea­sons for that is... that area of our county is sig­nif­i­cantly un­der-ser­viced, there’s a lot of un­at­tached pa­tients. So we are look­ing to pro­vide ser­vices there be­cause we have a large num­ber of pa­tients that drive from Till­son­burg and come here. So if we are able to open up a clinic there, we are hop­ing to be able to take on another 1,200 pa­tients there. We’d also be able to trans­fer some of our pa­tients from here, and then we’d be able to bring on more peo­ple here.” Inger­soll NPLC re­cently took on another 150 pa­tients, and they are hop­ing to get another 150 pa­tients in the spring.

“We do not keep a wait list,” she noted.

“What we also don’t do, as a rule, is take peo­ple who al­ready have a pri­mary care provider. Un­less their pri­mary care provider isn’t ac­ces­si­ble, for ex­am­ple if they’re driv­ing to Bramp­ton or driv­ing to Hamil­ton. Or they don’t drive at all. We’re very much fo­cused on ac­cess.”

Ex­tended hours are the norm at Inger­soll NPLC. It opens Tues­day, Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day at 7:15 a.m. They stay open to 7-7:30 p.m., de­pend­ing on the day, al­low­ing peo­ple to come in be­fore or af­ter work. The way we man­age that with staff is that most of us are on a four-day flex­i­ble work week.”

They also man­age sched­ules dif­fer­ently. They leave a cer­tain num­ber of spots, ev­ery day, for same-day ap­point­ments.

“we know peo­ple are go­ing to need them, they’re not go­ing to be able to wait three weeks. we keep that data, and it does vary de­pend­ing on the week, the month. so we’ve col­lected that data over the years so that when we sched­ule we make sure there’s that many spots open. it might be eight spots on a mon­day in Jan­uary and it might be two spots on a mon­day in septem­ber.

“any­thing that is emer­gent goes to emer­gency,” said Tobin. “if we have some­one call and say they have chest pain, we send them to emer­gency. There are sit­u­a­tions that we need to have a physi­cian see be­cause there are things that are out of our scope, but there is about 90 per cent that is within our scope.”

For the 10 per cent, they have a con­sult­ing physi­cian.

There are no fees for pa­tients. inger­soll Nursce Prac­ti­tioner led Clinic is funded by the pri­mary care di­vi­sion of the min­istry of health long term care, which pro­vides op­er­a­tional budget and salaries.

Chris Ab­bott/Till­son­burg news

Inger­soll Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Led Clinic cel­e­brated Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Week on Nov. 15 at their 19 King Street East, Inger­soll lo­ca­tion. From left are (front) Lisa DeLuca, Ash­ley Gas­son, Kelly McKay, Sue Tobin, Christy Kent, Stephanie Nevins, Shan­non Hut­son, Car­rie Lacroix, (back row) Stephanie Collings, Nancy Bradley, Brigita Prskalo-Mantz, Rhonda Heft, Mike Page and Yuriy Ilyin.

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