News

Heart failure, COPD pathways unveiled

July 10, 2019

Family doctors in the Calgary area can now access support for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or heart failure thanks to the addition of two new enhanced primary care pathways at www.specialistlink.ca.

Posted in a new, easy-to-read format that features a flow diagram with links to additional information and resources, the pathways are designed to support physicians to manage patients in the medical home. They could also help to reduce the number of hospital and/or emergency visits due to these conditions.

The pathways were developed by Alberta Health Services’ primary care team, Calgary-area Primary Care Networks, the Department of Family Medicine and the Divisions of Respiratory Medicine and Cardiology. Highlights include:

  • Important new evidence-based changes to medical management for both COPD and heart failure
  • Patients can benefit from the provision of a seven-day primary care safety visit following a hospital admission or emergency visit
  • Community resources to support care in the medical home

COPD and heart failure are the 23rd and 24th pathways added to the website, which helps connect doctors with specialists. Specialist LINK also offers tele-advice for 20 specialties or groups – calls are returned within one hour – and other resources designed to support physicians.

A complete list of the available clinical care pathways, by specialty, is listed below: 

  • CARDIOLOGY: Heart failure
  • ENDOCRINOLOGY: Access pathway, thyroid nodules
  • GASTROENTEROLOGY: Chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), helicobacter pylori, irritable bowel syndrome
  • GENERAL NEUROLOGY: Access pathway, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, enhanced vertigo, headache and migraine, suspected essential tremor, suspected Parkinson’s disease
  • HEPATOLOGY: Enhanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • PALLIATIVE CARE: Access pathway
  • RESPIROLOGY: Access pathway, COPD, sleep apnea
  • RHEUMATOLOGY: Access pathway, gout, peripheral arthritis
  • UROLOGY: Access pathway

Click here to access other resources via www.specialistlink.ca.

About Specialist LINK

Specialist LINK was launched in 2014 as part of a collaboration between Calgary and area Primary Care Networks, specialists and Alberta Health Services. A non-urgent tele-advice line for family physicians is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for chronic pain), excluding statutory holidays. Call 403-910-2551 or toll-free at 1-844-962-5465. Calls are returned within one hour. Clinical care pathways are also available. Please visit www.specialistlink.ca for more details.


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