Did you know that when a patient consistently sees the same family doctor, nurse practitioner and team, it can lead to better health? In fact, there is evidence-based literature that shows increased continuity or care, reported by patients, is associated with decreased mortality.
What is Continuity of Care?
Continuity of care is about improving Albertans’ health through stronger, ongoing relationships with their family physician/nurse practitioner and team, increased information sharing and enhanced care coordination.
Continuity is Better for Patients
When Albertans have a continuous, trusting relationship with a family physician/nurse practitioner and team, providers gets to know their patient’s story and become their medical home throughout their life.
The benefits of this strong relationship include:
- Increased access to appropriate care when it is needed
- Better health
- Better quality of care
- Improved care coordination
- Improved sharing of information between care providers
- Increased patient satisfaction
Important messages about continuity to share with your patients:
- Visit your regular family doctor or nurse practitioner when you have a health-related concern or question
- If your regular provider is unavailable, seek care from other members of the team or clinic who will then share information with your regular provider
- If you need urgent medical attention from the emergency department, follow-up with your family doctor to continue any communication or treatment given in the emergency department
- If your medical status changes, book an appointment with your medical home. They will help manage any changes and treatments that may be needed to help you get as healthy as possible quickly
- Don’t have a family doctor? For tools on how to find one, visit Find a Doctor.
- Primary Healthcare Panel Reports
The Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) can give panel reports upon request to primary healthcare providers. Panel reports help family physicians with their quality improvement work by providing information on their patients’ continuity, as well as valuable data on screening and vaccination rates, chronic conditions, pharmaceutical use and emergency and hospital visits. The HQCA also has a learning module to help providers use their report to improve relational continuity. View the module.
- Continuity Posters
These posters are free to download and highlight the benefits of seeing one family physician and team consistently .
- Find a Family Doctor
PCN Province-wide online search tool.
- Continuity + Harm Reduction = Lives Saved - fact sheet
Learn about the link between harm reduction and having a consistent relationship with a primary healthcare provider.
- The Importance of Continuity of Care
Apple Magazine, Winter Issue 2019.
- Primary Health Care
Primary health care is your first point of contact with the health system, bringing health services closer to where you live.
- Primary Care Networks
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) bring local physicians and other health care professionals together to provide comprehensive patient care to Albertans