New to practicing in Canada and a recent resident of Cowichan Valley, BC, Dr Vitaliy Kubatskyy was uncertain about how many patients would be under his care. At the advice of the Cowichan Valley Division of Family Practice, Dr Kubatskyy contacted Mai Bennett, Practice Support Program Regional Support Team Coordinator, for support.
“It was my second year of practice, so it was good to know how many patients I could manage efficiently,” said Dr Kubatskyy. “I wanted to make sure I was not underserving my patients.”
Mai pointed Dr Kubatskyy in the direction of the new step-by-step GPSC Panel Management Workbook, which they used to assess his panel at about 1,100 active patients.
“I was expecting closer to 2,000 as I had taken over a full-size practice. This prompted me to open my practice to new patients.”
This access to more up-to-date patient records gave Dr Kubatskyy options for improving the patient experience by providing more comprehensive care and shortening wait times.
“I wanted to expand care beyond the immediate problems presented by the patient.”
As a family doctor who understands that people often receive vaccinations at clinics or pharmacies without informing their GP’s office, Dr Kubatskyy decided to review and improve immunization records of his patients' panel. Choosing pneumonia immunization as a standard of care for his patients in the 65+ age group, he found that while most these patients had records of being immunized against flu, only a small number had records of their pneumococcal vaccination status.
With Mai’s help, Dr Kubatskyy set up an EMR trigger to inform him of patients whose records lacked pneumococcal-related information and to generate the necessary chart task to document whether the vaccine was given or declined by the patient. When seeing these patients for regular visits, Dr Kubatskyy verified their immunization records and recommended missing vaccinations where appropriate. Thus, the number of pneumococcal vaccine records more than doubled within two months.
“It’s important to tailor this [panel management] process to your practice needs to keep you motivated. I’ve saved time with my overall enhancement of my EMR skills and usage, improved care of my patients, and this proved to be business efficient.”
Dr Kubatskyy also works with a registered nurse who follows up with patients about their pneumococcal vaccination status when she sees them for annual flu shots. Supported by Mai, he continues to progress with his patient panel immunization registry and is excited to spread the workflow process to other vaccinations, including tetanus boosters.