Chilliwack Primary Care Clinic reduces excessive hospital admissions by connecting vulnerable patients to family doctors

In Chilliwack, vulnerable patients without a family  doctor are getting comprehensive primary care at  the Chilliwack Primary Care Clinic (CPCC), resulting  in fewer visits to the emergency room and reduced  hospital admissions. 

A partnership between the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and Fraser Health, the CPCC brings doctors, nurse practitioners, and other services together to  provide wrap-around care for patients with complex  and multiple medical needs, so they can better manage  and stabilize their health. 

“The clinic has been a big success,” says Dr Melanie  Madill, Physician Lead with the Chilliwack Division of  Family Practice. “After stabilizing some very vulnerable  patients through the CPCC, we are able to transition  them to family doctors in the community, which is  changing the frequency of ER visits and hospital stays.” 

The Division has measured the results using Fraser  Health data. On average, during the first 280 days  following their first appointment, a group of vulnerable  patients are estimated, per patient, to have avoided 1.3  ER visits, and approximately 19 acute care bed days. In  total, the Division calculates that attachment to a family  doctor for these patients has resulted in 150 fewer ER  visits and 1,634 fewer acute care bed days between  August 2014 and June 2016. 

An example is George,* a cancer survivor with several  complex conditions. Four years ago, he did not have a  doctor and was visiting the ER about 50 times a year for  multiple conditions. Today, after being supported by  clinic doctors, nurse practitioners and a local specialist,  and with access to a regular family doctor, he has  decreased his medications and no longer needs to visit  the ER, unless he has an emergency need.

 *Last name omitted by patient request

(below) Dr Chantal Chris is a family physician at the Chilliwack Primary Care Clinic