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blood pressureCost-effective screening initiative is good for patient care

Physicians at the Allin Clinic, part of the Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network (PCN), have been actively involved in a screening and prevention program for five years. Why? It's what's best for their patients.

The clinic started with 10 screening interventions defined by Toward Optimized Practice (TOP), and eventually trimmed that list to seven: fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, colorectal cancer screening, mammography, bone mineral density, Pap tests and blood pressure. They also decided to track weight and routine lab assessments for four chronic diseases—diabetes, hypothyroidism, dyslipidemia and hypertension.

Surprisingly, it doesn't mean a lot of extra work for physicians.  Primary care network screening coordinators are part of each physician's team. The screening coordinators have a medical office assistant background. They are trained to apply a physician-approved screening tool with specific criteria to patient charts to determine if a screening intervention is required, and they keep patient information up to date.

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The Primary Care Networks Program Management Office
Alberta Government
Alberta Medical Association
Alberta Health Services