Patient Policies and Office Procedures
Please read through our Patient Policies and Office Procedures. This document reflects our general expectations of our patients and their expectations for care in our office. If you have any concerns or questions please discuss them with a staff member or with your doctor.
The doctors at St. Albert Medical Clinic are members of the St. Albert and Sturgeon Primary Care Network (SASPCN). Our patients can access the PCN’s services including mental health support, chronic disease management, etc. (www.saspcn.com)
Our staff at St. Albert Medical Clinic value all of our patients. We respect our patients of all backgrounds, religions, races, genders, sexualities and beliefs. It is our intention to create a safe space for all.
In order to cancel an appointment, please notify our office the day before your scheduled visit. If insufficient time is provided, you may be charged for your missed appointment. You can cancel by speaking to reception or leaving a message on our cancellation line. This allows your appointment slot to become available for other patients who require care.
Late and Missed Appointments (including virtual care)
Please arrive on time for your appointments. Patients who are more than 10 minutes late for their appointment may be required to rebook and may be charged a no-show fee. Patients who miss their booked appointments will be subject to a mandatory no-show fee and will be required to pay this fee prior to rebooking. For telephone appointments, please note that the doctor may call from a private or blocked number. Please ensure you answer these calls to avoid being charged a no-show fee. Patients who have multiple missed appointments may be discharged from the practice.
Most of our doctors allocate 10-15 minutes for most standard appointments and 30 minutes for the annual Periodic Health Exams (ie: Complete Physicals). This allows the doctor time to review your chart prior to your appointment if needed and complete any paperwork required from your appointment. Some of our doctors will ask that patients book an appointment and be present when forms are to be completed.
In order to provide the best care to all our patients, our doctors prefer to address one main issue at each visit. This allows the doctor to provide quality medical care and give each issue the attention it requires. It also helps the doctor stay on time and respect the time of all patients. Brief secondary issues may be addressed if time permits. If you believe you may require more time for your visit, please inform the receptionist when booking your appointment.
Periodic Health Exams (ie: Complete Physicals)
This appointment serves as a comprehensive health assessment, with a focus on preventative health and ensuring you are up to date with recommended health screening. Please do NOT save your major health problems or urgent issues for this visit. Please make separate appointments to be seen sooner to discuss these specific or urgent concerns.
Scheduling our Appointments
We encourage our parents to schedule their visits in advance when possible. This can be done by calling our office at 780-460-4562 to book with reception or online if you are registered through Pomelo. Please see below for more information. If booking via reception, when possible please tell the receptionist the reason for your visit. Confidentiality is always respected, and knowing the reason for your visit can improve your doctors preparation for your visit.
Patients with chronic conditions requiring regular visits are encouraged to book their follow up appointment as they leave our office. For urgent concerns, please see section on same day bookings below.
Online Booking and Secure E-communication
Patients in our office can register for a free, secure on-line booking & e-communication service called Pomelo (formerly Health Myself). Using this platform, you are able to book your appointments online with your physician. Some physicians in our office are also available for communications via this secure email tool. Pomelo meets federal and provincial security and privacy standards. This is intended for your physician and our office to email you documents or communications in a secure way.
If you have not already registered for Pomelo, please contact our office for details on how to register. Each member of a family requires their own individual email to register for this service.
Any communications initiated by patients to our office staff or physicians may take up to 72 hours to receive a response. Please do not send any urgent concerns via e-communication.
The Pomelo communication and scheduling tool is different from the Alberta Government My Health Records to access lab results. For the government website, please go to Alberta government MyHealth Records.
One Appointment = One Person
Doubling up on an appointment by asking about another patient’s concern (children, spouse, etc.) prevents the doctor from being able to appropriately assess and document the health condition. Please book a separate appointment for each person wishing to speak to the doctor.
Continuity of Care
In our office, patients are cared for by a single doctor. Typically, patients are not able to request switching to another doctor. However, our doctors do provide emergency coverage for one another when away from the office. Please book only with your respective physician unless otherwise directed.
Acute Illness and Same Day Appointments
Our clinic’s physicians make an effort to save space for same day appointments to accommodate patients that need to be seen urgently. Examples for acute concerns include bladder infection, rashes, a child with a fever etc. If you need an urgent appointment, you may be seen by a different doctor in our clinic. Please phone first thing in the morning for an urgent same day appointment. These reserved urgent appointment slots are not visible via online booking, so please call to access urgent care.
Please do NOT send urgent concerns via the Health Myself online communication tool.
Our doctors prefer you attempt to be seen in our office rather than going to a different clinic for continuity of care. We cannot access the medical records from other clinics.
Please note that due to COVID-19, we have special procedures in place to ensure the safety of all patients.
Uninsured Services not covered by Alberta Health Care
Patients will be charged directly for services that are not covered by Alberta Health Care. We follow the fee schedule from the Alberta Medical Association. This includes, but is not limited to insurance forms, sick notes, prescriptions for massage and some procedures. You can expect any form or paperwork to be completed within 1-4 weeks as per our provincial standard. An appointment is required for any form requests so we can get the information we need. Payment is required in advance of release of any forms. Please see our uninsured services page for more details.
Unfortunately, as of April 1, 2020 Seniors Drivers Medical Examinations are no longer funded by Alberta Health Care. Seniors over the age of 74.5 are now required to cover the cost of these examinations.
Payments for uninsured services can be made in cheque, cash, debit or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover). There will be a 4% surcharge for all debit or credit payments. You will receive an invoice for any payments.
We ask that patients book an appointment with their physician for all medication refills. For your protection, our doctors need to speak with you (in person appointment or virtual appointment) before authorizing prescription refills so they can review the indication, safety and benefit of your medication(s). Please ensure you have enough refills to last until your next appointment.
Pharmacy Care & Medications
Our office recommends that you use only one pharmacy for continuity, medication coordination and safe patient care. Please know your medications and have a list of non-prescription products that you are taking such as vitamins, herbal remedies and any prescription medications.
Narcotics (opioids), Sleeping Pills and Antibiotics
Our doctors follow evidence-based guidelines for prescribing these medications and will not prescribe them unless medically indicated. Patients needing opioid medications will be required to sign an Opioid Treatment Agreement with their doctor. Sleeping pills are rarely prescribed on a chronic basis.
Our doctors believe that work is an integral part of a person’s life and wellbeing. Therefore, requests for work leave will be treated with discretion.
Our doctors support and encourage vaccinations.
Laboratory Investigations and Diagnostic Imaging
These will only be ordered if medically indicated. Patients will not be contacted if results are normal. Patients can access some of their own lab results by registering for My Health Record through myhealth.alberta.ca.
If your doctor is away or is not working in this office on the day that you need to be seen, you may see a different physician in this clinic for your appointment if there is space available in their schedule. This may be with a male or female physician.
Out of Office Services
Many of our doctors also provide medical services outside of this office, including obstetrical services. They make every effort to be on time and present for your scheduled appointments but there is a possibility they may be delayed or need to reschedule if attendance at the hospital is required. Our office will work with you to reschedule any appointments in a timely fashion.
After Hours Coverage
Outside of regular office hours, Albertans can access support for their health questions and concerns via Health Link Alberta by dialing 811. Out of province callers can call 1-866-408-5465. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our office also provides after hours telephone access to a physician member of our clinic for acute medical concerns. This is intended to support your health if it is an urgent concern that cannot wait until the next business day. You can access the contact number by calling our office. If your issue is of an urgent nature (ex. chest pain), please proceed to your nearest emergency department.
Many of our doctors are affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta. At times, medical students or residents may be present to help with your care.
Abuse Towards Staff
Any abusive language or behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated and will result in immediate discharge from the practice.
Termination of a Physician-Patient Relationship
The doctor reserves the right to terminate the doctor-patient relationship as per the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta guidelines. If a patient relationship is terminated, they will be informed in person or by phone. No further appointments will be accepted and they will be responsible to find care elsewhere. The doctor will provide 30 days of care for urgent issues. There is an office fee for transferring patient records. The most common reason for termination is disrespectful behaviour and/or repeated lateness or missed appointments.
Termination of a Physician-Family Relationship
In order to provide the best medical care for a child, a respectful working relationship between the parent(s) and physician is necessary. If a parent is terminated from the doctor’s practice this relationship is compromised; therefore it is no longer appropriate for the doctor to care for the children. A referral to a pediatrician will be offered and chart transferred. The doctor will provide 30 days of care for urgent issues.