The Burnaby Maternity Clinic, a family doctor-to-family doctor network that supports doctors to provide care to pregnant patients in Burnaby “It’s the best kept secret in the Lower Mainland,” says Dr Shelley Ross, General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) Co-chair and family physician at the clinic. A key goal of the clinic it to keep maternity patients in a primary care setting throughout their pregnancy, reducing the need for them to be seen in the specialty setting.
In addition to GP referrals, obstetricians are redirecting low-risk patients back to their family doctors and recommending the Burnaby Maternity Clinic as the best place for them to continue receiving care in pregnancy.
The clinic functions as a family doctor-to-family doctor network and is comprised of six family doctors who work together to provide 24-hour care to maternity patients. Located on the first floor of Burnaby Hospital, the network maintains wraparound care for patients throughout pregnancy, labour and delivery, and up to six weeks post-partum.
With support from the family doctor network, doctors who do not provide obstetrical care in Burnaby can be confident their patients are well looked after. “If a physician has a patient they only want to see up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, they want to know they have someone who is willing to take that patient on for the rest of the pregnancy, do the delivery, and send them back,” says Dr Ross. ”We have such a network in Burnaby.”
This model has been shown to provide better access to continuous care, which means shorter wait times, fewer complications and interventions, and lower costs to the health care system. There is less burden on obstetricians as well, whose main focus is critical obstetrical care and high-risk pregnancies.
“In Burnaby, we are building a model which improves the care we are able to provide as family doctors,” says Dr Lemke. “The future is one of collegiality and working together, enabling the shared delivery of primary maternity care.” As well as emphasizing the benefits of keeping maternity patients in a primary care setting throughout their pregnancy, the clinic encourages other family doctors to consider offering maternity services at the clinic.
Two promotional videos have been created to showcase the clinic and its services: one highlights the benefits of the clinic to other family physicians and the other for family doctors to display in their waiting rooms that demonstrate the clinic’s services to prospective patients.
For more information about the clinic and the network of family doctors, visit the website.