Traditional healthcare in the province is getting a facelift. Yorkton's future clinic, Patient Central, will pioneer the simple concept of delivering healthcare as a team to give the patient a quick and more helpful experience.
A team of over 40 people from Sunrise Health Region, doctors, ministry members, and community members used this concept to design the clinic in five days, starting on July 16.
With the design process finished, construction should start in spring and the cost will be determined in following months, said local physician Phillip Fourie.
The clinic will house four physicians, a dietician, a diabetes educator, an optometrist, a pharmacist, a podiatrist, and an exercise therapist. A satellite clinic will also be built in Foam Lake.
By providing so many services, "you'll see people coming in, getting what they want and getting out," said Suann Laurent, CEO of the health region.
Fourie started the push for Patient Central because he "just wanted to improve what I do everyday because I know I can do things better." What he needed to get better was an improvement to the system. He saw the idea of a patient-oriented clinic as key.
The project got the green light when it was announced as one of eight innovation projects to be funded by the provincial government. Financial support from the city, health region and from doctors that will partner with Fourie at the clinic helped push it towards reality.
The results of the week-long workshop were displayed at the Gallagher Centre's flexi-hall on July 20.
"In five days we came up with more ideas than any single individual could come up with in, I would say six months" by gathering over 40 people to design the primary health care clinic, said Fourie.
A walk-through was led by a consultant with John Black and Associates, community members and health region members. The variety of ideas shared by the presenters showed how collaborative the effort was.
Highlights of the week included graphing data that had been collected in Yorkton and designing miniature models of clinics. This data was used to create models that would meet needs specific to Yorkton.
Once given guidelines that follow building codes by AODBT Architecture, the group was given free rein to design the best clinic possible.
The final step was to create a life-size model of the best idea for the layout, with walls made out of styrofoam, that visitors walked through at the final event.
The team performed many different scenarios showed how the new clinic would differ from traditional clinics. For example, people learning how to deal with diabetes can attend a group session with other patients and many healthcare providers to discuss their issues together. By working together, the team will target chronic conditions such as these.
While there are no promises, the efficiency gained through this project is hoped to ease the workload on other healthcare professionals, such as family practitioners.
"It's attractive, when people have, from a quality of life perspective, less time on call," said Laurent.
Although future healthcare facilities will look different, the process used on this project will "be the only way that we design in the future," she added.