Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 19(3) October 2016 : 61-66.doi:10.12927/hcq.2016.24863
Primary Healthcare

Increasing Primary Care Access Close to Home for Residents of Remote Communities in Northern Alberta

A. Alison Ross, Tracey L. Yap, Johan van der Nest, Keith Martin and Alison H. Edie

Abstract

Residents of Canada's rural and remote communities know the challenges associated with accessing consistent healthcare. Alberta Health Services uses telehealth technology to minimize travel for rural and remote residents who require follow-up with specialists, however until recently, telehealth was only used in specialty care. This article describes a pilot project introduced in two remote northern Alberta communities to determine the feasibility and sustainability of using telehealth in the delivery of primary healthcare. Included in the article are descriptions of each phase of the project from seeking stakeholder approval through interpretation of findings and continuation of the project after it was determined successful. Jurisdictions interested in attempting their own telehealth program will be interested in the challenges and successes identified during the process. Although the project was successful, further studies are needed to determine if similar findings could be expected in other communities and populations.

 

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