What Are Primary Care Networks?
Primary care is the first point of contact a person has with the health system – the point where people receive care for most of their everyday health needs. Primary care is typically provided by family physicians and health care professionals such as nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, mental health professionals, therapists and others.
Primary care includes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of various health conditions. It also includes referrals to specialists and diagnostic services such as laboratory tests or X-rays.
Family physicians and Alberta Health Services personnel routinely provide primary care services within PCNs. Family physicians are often the first step for patients seeking appointments for primary care needs while Alberta Health Services provides important services such as laboratory and X-ray services.
Primary Care Networks
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) bring local physicians and other health care professionals together to provide comprehensive patient care to Albertans. PCNs develop solutions to meet the needs of the local community and their health issues. PCNs are created through an agreement between physicians and Alberta Health Services.
Depending on the regional need, a PCN may decide to strengthen the communication between physicians and home care nurses by working together, while another PCN may set up a palliative care program with a team of family doctors and health care professionals to look after patients.