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Family Doctor of the Day – NRGH

Posted on: April 14, 2021

In January 2020, the Department of Family Practice at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) initiated the Family Doctor of the Day program (FDOD) led by Drs. Kevin Martin and Derek Poteryko, and in collaboration with NRGH leadership and the Nanaimo Medical Staff Engagement Society (NMSES).

The FDOD program builds on the ED2Home pilot by expanding and directly supporting admitting Family Doctors.  Dr. Kevin Martin emphasized that this program aligns with the Department of Family Practice three core foundational elements, which are,

  1. Strive to journey with patients and their families wherever and whenever they are in the medical system providing patient-centered care while working to reduce care destabilization at the interface between community and facility;
  2. Support Family Doctors to provide relational continuity of care for patients in hospital through advocacy, partnerships and collaboration with NRGH Medical Staff and administration; and
  3. Aspire to the philosophy of First: Each Other - by uplifting one another and returning humanity and collaboration to Family Medicine, aiming to create a positive sustainable future for our current and future Family Medicine graduates.

How does the FDOD program work?  The FDOD physician connects with the Community Health Service's (CHS) ED Liaison, Social Work, the Rapid Response Team and other CHS teams to address ED/inpatient needs with the goal of dealing with inpatient emergencies in a timely fashion, facilitating faster discharges home, avoiding ED admissions for patients whose needs can be addressed at home, and ensuring continuity of care.

Sheila Leadbetter, Geo 2 Executive Director, noted, “with the introduction of the FDOD program at NRGH, continuum of care is being achieved for those patients that present to the Emergency Department who also have a Family Doctor in the community.  Communication to the community physician occurs seamlessly when the FDOD is able to manage the patient’s health concerns while avoiding an admission to the hospital. In the event the patient requires admission, the FDOD facilitates admission and in-patient care and connects with the patient's community physician during and upon discharge back home, promoting a seamless handover to the patients Family Doctor.

The FDOD program is being well-received by Family Doctors in the community.   Having a designated physician on duty in the hospital to respond to inpatient needs on the behalf of Family Doctors alleviates the need for family doctors to attend inpatient call-outs during community Family Practice hours when they are attending patients within their own clinics. 

”FDOD is such a supportive, collegial program. It has motivated me to continue with my hospital privileges, promoting continuity of care, while also practicing in the community. It's wonderful knowing someone has you covered in hospital, especially in cases when you're stuck in clinic.  It's also a great way to connect with colleagues and the community!" (Dr Anita Rashidi)

Nanaimo-based Family Doctors cover a broad range of community and in-patient care, including GP Obstetrics, GP Palliative Care, GP Addictions Medicine (including the care of marginalized populations through Outreach), Long Term Care, surgical assists, Urgent Care, Home Visits and specialty clinics such as the Youth Wellness Centre.  

Physicians interested in hearing more about FDOD and the NRGH Department of Family Practice should contact Dr. Kevin Martin(Kevin.martin@viha.ca) or Dr. Derek Poteryko (Derek.poteryko@viha.ca). 

Physician engagement funding and in-kind support for the Family Doctor of the Day project was provided through the Facility Engagement Initiative (funded by Specialist Service Committee through the Nanaimo Medical Staff Engagement Society) and the Health System Redesign Initiative (jointly funded by Specialist Services Committee, General Practice Services Committee and Shared Care Committee).