New outpatient clinic provides innovative care

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Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University have opened the first phase of a new outpatient clinic that will provide innovative care for adults by placing several medical specialties under one roof within a clinical teaching unit.

It’s called the Boris Clinic, and it’s one of the first academic medicine outpatient clinics among its kind in Canada.

“The Boris Clinic will provide a supportive environment where patients can access multiple specialists in a timely and coordinated system of care,” says Rob MasIsaac, president & CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences.

The clinic, located at McMaster University Medical Centre, is funded by Hamilton’s Boris family as part of their $30 million gift to McMaster University in 2012. $6 million was dedicated to this unique facility which will enable patients with complex health problems to see several specialists and have related tests during one visit.

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The inaugural Medical Director for the clinic is Dr. Akbar Panju, who will also hold the Boris Family Chair in Education and Internal Medicine. Dr. Panju and other leaders have been making plans for the clinic for a number of years. They have visited adult outpatient clinics in Canada and the United States, including the respected Mayo Clinic, to develop a new model of care. The Boris Clinic is based on three pillars of excellence: best clinical care, education and research.

The model recognizes that there has been a movement from inpatient to outpatient clinical care, and that many patients have complicated issues.

“The Boris Clinic will bring all medical specialists under one roof, to create an environment that encourages interaction. Visits and tests can be done in a coordinated and timely fashion, for best patient care,” says Panju.

It will bring education and research into the mix, so that doctors are trained in outpatient care, in a location that brings research and evidence-based medicine into practice. This will ensure that physicians of the future are well trained to look after patients with these issues.

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Phase 1 of the clinic opened to patients on June 30, with its first two specialties: the Endocrinology and Diabetes Care and Research Program, and the General Internal Medicine

Rapid Assessment Clinic (GIMRAC). Both of these clinics have previously been operated separately within the McMaster University Medical Centre. This initial phase will see about 15,000 annual patient visits transfer to the area, with access to multiple physicians and supportive resources such as dieticians, nurse practitioners, kinesiologists and psychologists. The second phase will open in 2015, and will transfer an additional 19,000 patient visits from medical care areas across McMaster University Medical Centre and dozens more physicians from a range of medical specialities.

Later this year, the Boris Clinic will also be the first outpatient clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences to go to fully electronic health records, ensuring patient information can be shared among those in the circle of care.

“The Boris Clinic demonstrates HHS’ commitment to lead the advancement of coordinated, patient-centred care,” says MacIsaac. “This innovative clinic will use electronic medical charts, allowing physicians and specialists to share information and provide a seamless experience for patients. This is a huge leap forward in patient care in our communities.”