In just a few years, the notion of how health care should be delivered has changed dramatically.
A more collaborative model of care has emerged, focused on providing Albertans with the right care, in the right place, by the right provider. Patients too are becoming increasingly active participants in
their own care.
As an organization whose mission is “serving the public by guiding the medical profession”, the College is uniquely positioned to promote this evolution in care for the benefit of Albertans.
What does this mean in practical terms? Some examples from
our recent work:
- In 2015 we altered our sponsorship requirements for physicians applying for our Provisional Register Conditional Practice, to better support Alberta Health Services in placing these physicians where they’re needed most.
- Recognizing most patient care is now provided in a group setting, the College saw a need to re-think how it assesses physician competency and supports practice quality. In 2015 we made great strides toward developing new tools tailored to group practice, which will be piloted in the coming months.
- In reviewing our standards of practice for continuity of care, patient records and prescribing, we worked with the Alberta College of Pharmacists and College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta as well as the Alberta Medical Association, to align our expectations in areas of mutual interest and build cooperation between our professions.
- Finally, in the most profoundly challenging issue of 2015 – the pending decriminalization of medical assistance in dying – we sought input from government, allied health professions, other medical regulators, expert panels and the public. Hundreds of thoughtful responses informed our understanding and helped us refine advice for our members.
I believe this is how good regulation is made; not in isolation but as a product of many perspectives, carefully weighed to best serve the public interest. As a physician, I also believe this is a recipe for providing good care – listen, learn, collaborate and contribute – that not only best serves our patients, but also strengthens and supports all those in the circle of care.
Dr. Trevor Theman