Hospital privileges procedure, services outlined

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I would like to take this opportunity to provide some clarification to the community in light of concerns that have been circulating about physician privileges at the Olds Hospital and Care Centre.

I would also like to highlight some of the great achievements that have been made possible at our site with the support of local physicians.

Alberta Health Service (AHS) values the partnership we have with all of our physicians; each of them play an essential role in providing quality care and services to all Albertans. Our goal is to ensure that residents have access to the services they require in an appropriate and sustainable manner.

Dr. Graff is a well-respected local physician, who has provided care to the residents of Olds for many years. We thank him for that work, and share his patients’ gratitude for the contributions he has made to the community.

We also understand the special bond that can develop between a patient and their doctor. This is at the heart of successful, supportive community health care, and is something we strongly believe in and advocate for.

AHS has worked closely with Dr. Graff on his request for hospital privileges, and will continue to do so.

In the interest of protecting confidentiality, I cannot disclose specific employment details related to any individual physician, but I can offer some general information about the process that all physicians must undertake in order to be granted hospital privileges.

Patient care is at the heart of this process, not only ensuring physicians are able to provide the care patients need and expect, but that the needs of communities are met.

Physicians wishing to join the AHS medical staff need to apply after receiving appropriate credentialing by the College of Physician and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). The process of appointing and privileging then proceeds through a review by a zone application review committee (as per the bylaws).

Physicians must meet every CPSA requirement and condition for licensure, or return to scope of practice in Alberta before AHS can process the appointment request. This process does not involve any of the hospital staff. This process is removed from the facility to ensure that the process is fair.

Whether patients are seen by their family physician or not, should they need hospital care, they can be assured that they will receive the best care possible from the medical and nursing staff on-call.

We strive to provide excellent care to all our patients and are continually working to enhance our services for the benefit of those we care for, and our community.

During my seven years in Olds, there have been some remarkable changes at the hospital, and we have achieved some incredible things, of which I am personally very proud.

Our surgical program has experienced exponential growth in recent years. We now utilize our operating rooms five days a week, completing more than 1,400 procedures last year. Not only is this supported by local physicians, but general, orthopedic and obstetrics and gynecology (OBS) surgeons from Red Deer also regularly travel to the community.

We are also able to offer podiatry surgeries one day a month, adding to the growing list of procedures we are able to accommodate in Olds.

We have expanded to have 24-7 anesthesia coverage 365 days a year for emergency cesarean sections, epidural services and assistance to our emergency as well as labour and delivery departments.

Nearly 300 babies are born in our facility each year, and we have recruited more physicians with an interest in obstetrical care than ever before, including a full-time obstetrician and gynecologist.

The Olds Hospital and Care Centre has also been able to add restorative level of care to the facility. Restorative care is a relatively new way of delivering rehabilitative care, and focuses on rehabilitating patients with the goal of being able to return to their own home or transition to the most independent level of care possible.

While our facility has not grown in size over the years, the services provided most certainly have, due to the support from physicians and staff. I look forward to our continued growth and the addition of new staff and physicians to our team to care for you, the community.

Dr. Jaco Hoffman

Olds

– Dr. Hoffman is the facility medical director of the Olds Hospital and Care Centre. Ed.

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