Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are a made-in-Alberta approach to improving access to and better coordinating care for patients across the province.
In a PCN, a group of family doctors and Alberta Health Services coordinate health services for patients. A PCN is not necessarily a bricks and mortar building – it is a network of doctors and other health providers such as nurses, dietitians and pharmacists working together to provide primary health care to patients.
A PCN can be comprised of one clinic with many physicians and support staff, or several doctors in several clinics in a geographic area. Each network has the flexibility to develop programs and to provide services in a way that works locally to meet the specific needs of patients. This is done within the provincial Primary Care Initiative framework.
This flexibility to develop local solutions to local health issues makes each PCN unique and encourages the PCN team to focus on the needs of the local patient population.
There are 40 PCNs operating throughout Alberta with more in development. More than 2500 family physicians in Alberta are working in PCNs.