Primary Care Network
What is a PCN?
A Primary Care Network (PCN) is a model of care that that supports the delivery of team‐based primary health care services in a local area. In a PCN, family physicians, other primary care providers, and allied health care providers in a geographic area work together to meet the health needs of their local community.
Across BC, family physicians, health authorities and community partners are working to transform the delivery of primary care through establishment of Primary Care Networks. The East Kootenay Division of Family Practice, Interior Health, and the Ktunaxa Nation have come together as partners to implement and support the development of the East Kootenay Primary Care Network (EK PCN).
About the East Kootenay PCN
The EK PCN is a network of high‐functioning, multi‐disciplinary health care providers working closely together to improve delivery of comprehensive primary care. It aims to optimize the overall health of the population in the East Kootenay by providing timely access to person‐centered, comprehensive, team‐based care that is both equitable and culturally safe. It is based on a wide body of evidence that shows that this approach achieves the quadruple aim of increasing access to care, improving patient outcomes, enhancing provider experience and reducing care costs.
EK PCN clinical teams will be patient‐focused, coordinated teams and will include: physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, allied health providers (social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, mental wellness clinicians, dietitians, pharmacist, respiratory therapists) and aboriginal health coordinators actively working together to address the primary care needs of East Kootenay residents.
The development of team‐based care is not new in the East Kootenay region. The EK region spans 44,983 square kilometers with primary care services spread over 8 rural communities. In these rural communities, where family physicians provide the full spectrum of acute and community care, and where resources are often limited, health care workers have had to learn to work creatively and collaboratively.
A number of team‐based care initiatives are already operational in the region, including:
• primary health care nurses providing services in physician clinics to complex, co‐morbid patients;
• social workers in primary care clinics and Ktunaxa band health centres, working closely with family physicians and their patients who require extra support, and whose social needs are a barrier to their health;
• integration of nurse practitioners into Ktunaxa Nation based services and health authority services;
• co‐location of family medicine practice with health authority services and private physiotherapy and pharmacy.
The EK PCN builds on the experience of team‐based care in the region, bringing together the full scope of primary care services in a collaborative and comprehensive network of care.
PCN Strategic Lead
EK Division of Family Practice