September 24, 2013
An innovative approach to meeting the health care needs of Saskatchewan's rural residents has been launched in the province.
Saskatchewan's first Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) is now open in Maidstone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The CEC provides extended hours of primary health care and 24/7 emergency care, improving stability and access to health care services for patients.
With the cutting of the ceremonial cake, Maidstone's CEC was officially opened. Participating in the ceremony were (from left) David Fan, CEO Prairie North Health Region; Ruth Presley, Patient representative; Randy Weekes, Minister responsible for Rural & Remote Health; Connie McCulloch, Mayor, Town of Maidstone; Bonnie O'Grady, Chairperson, Prairie North Regional Health Authority; and Dustin Duncan, Minister of Health.
Minister responsible for Rural and Remote Health Randy Weekes and Prairie North Regional Health Authority Chair Bonnie O'Grady today officially opened the CEC at the Maidstone Health Complex.
“This is a historic day for health care in Saskatchewan and a great accomplishment for Prairie North Health Region,” Weekes said. “Introducing this innovative model of health care delivery in our province is a result of a collaborative effort by many partners to improve patient care, and it's great to see Maidstone leading the way.”
“Prairie North Health Region is proud to have had the incredible support of our local and regional health care providers, community leaders, ministry officials, and provincial health care organizations in bringing the Maidstone CEC to reality,” O'Grady said. “We strongly believe that CECs are the future for smaller Saskatchewan communities like Maidstone in strengthening and retaining their health care services.”
Saskatchewan is introducing CECs to address the challenges of providing health care in rural communities. This model of health care delivery improves access to stable, reliable primary health care, reduces emergency room visits, and increases patient and provider satisfaction.
“I am confident that Maidstone and area residents are already seeing improved access right in their own community to the health care services they need,” Maidstone Mayor Connie McCulloch said. “Through the CEC, patients can receive the level of care they need through a strong network of skilled health professionals. Our residents can be confident in accessible, appropriate and quality health services.”
A team of four physicians and a nurse practitioner offers extended hours of primary health care, including evenings and partial weekend hours. Same-day or next-day appointments are available.
During daytime (8 AM – 8 PM), urgent care is provided by a Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse with support from a local primary care physician. Overnight (8 PM – 8 AM), a Registered Nurse and Primary Care Paramedic will lead assessment, minor treatment and urgent care, in consultation with a STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) physician. A local primary care physician will continue to support acute inpatient (hospital) and long-term care 24/7 at Maidstone Health Complex.
The Ministry of Health has worked closely with health regions, providers and interested communities to determine potential sites. Additional CECs will be opening in the province in the coming months.
Saskatchewan's CECs are based on the Nova Scotia model. Nova Scotia has introduced CECs in seven communities since July 2011. CECs have been well received by patients, communities and providers in Nova Scotia, and have resulted in a 92 per cent reduction in emergency department disruptions at the CEC sites. The CEC night-time emergency department teams have served more than 2,700 patients.
The CEC model was endorsed in the first report of the Council of the Federation's Health Care Innovation Working Group, co-chaired by Premier Brad Wall and PEI Premier Robert Ghiz. This innovative way of delivering health care also aligns with Saskatchewan's goal to strengthen its primary health care system.
For more information on the Maidstone Collaborative Emergency Centre, click on the following:
Maidstone CEC Brochure or the Maidstone CEC Information Sheet.
For more information on CECs and primary health care in Saskatchewan, visit the Ministry of Health website at www.health.gov.sk.ca/primary-health-care