Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with advanced university education who provides advanced decision-making skills in the assessment and diagnosis of acute illness and injuries and in the management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.
Ontario nurse practitioners provide a full range of health care services to individuals, families and communities in a variety of settings including hospitals and community based clinics in cities and smaller towns in Ontario.
We work in partnership with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals such as social workers, midwives, mental health professionals and pharmacists to keep you, your family and your community well.
What is a Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic?
Nurse Practitioner Led clinics are an innovative model for delivery of comprehensive primary health care in Ontario and Canada. The model is designed to improve access to care for the thousands of individuals and families who do not currently have a primary health-care provider. One of the unique aspects of the model is the incorporation of nursing leadership within an interprofessional team.
Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs) are primary health care organizations that provide comprehensive, accessible, person centred and co-ordinated primary care services to people of all ages and stages in over twenty communities across Ontario. NPLCs improve the quality of care through enhanced health promotion, disease prevention, primary mental health care and chronic disease management, as well as improve care coordination and navigation of the health care system. Engaging patients as full partners in their care plan is an important aspect of the underlying philosophy of NPLCs.
Nurse practitioners are the lead primary care providers of the clinic’s inter-professional team of health care providers and support staff. Nurse practitioners assess, diagnose, treat and monitor a wide range of health problems using an evidence based approach to their practice. In addition to nurse practitioners and collaborating physicians, other professionals on the clinic’s team may include registered nurses, registered practical nurses, registered dietitians, registered social workers, health promoters, mental health workers, pharmacists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and other health care providers.
What types of services are provided at a Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic?
Nurse practitioner-led clinics deliver:
- Comprehensive primary care to patients in the community ensuring continuity of care;
- Holistic care that addresses all needs of each patient;
- Enhanced health promotion;
- Chronic Disease and illness management and prevention;
- Care coordination and navigation of the health care system; and
- Integrated care within the community through established partnerships.
Is the Algoma Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic a walk-in-clinic?
No, the Algoma NPLC does not offer walk-in services. You MUST book an appointment to be seen, and must be a patient of the clinic to book an appointment.
How do I become a patient?
To become a patient of the Algoma NPLC you will need to complete a registration form. You can access these forms by coming to the clinic and asking the receptionist or you can complete one online under the registration tab. Once your registration form is completed and submitted you will be contacted to attend an intake appointment. *Please Note- The Algoma NPLC may not be accepting new patients at this time. Please contact the clinic or check the registration tab for more information.
Can I stay registered with my family Physician/provider and still come to the Algoma NPLC?
No you cannot stay registered with your current family physician/provider and come to the Algoma NPLC. Our clinic is only able to accept patients who do not have a family physician or primary health care provider.
Do I have to be registered to the Algoma NPLC to access the group sessions?
The Algoma NPLC offers group sessions for registered patients, and also hosts multiple different community based programs which are open to the public. See clinic services for details.
Do you offer extended hours?
The Algoma NPLC is open Monday-Friday 8:40am- 4:30pm. We are open at least once per month for an evening clinic 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Please check with reception for availability of these appointments.
Will I have the same Nurse Practitioner for my visits?
Once you become a patient you will be assigned to a specific Nurse Practitioner and you will see them on the subsequent visits. If your Nurse Practitioner is unavailable you may be offered a visit with an alternate NP within the clinic setting. At the Algoma NPLC we utilize our multidisciplinary team to offer the patient the best most efficient care possible. There may be times that a consultation with the social worker or pharmacist or other clinical staff may be in your best interest and so that is who you would be scheduled to see. We at the Algoma NPLC believe in a team based approach working collaboratively to aid in patients’ primary care.
Can I see my medical information?
Yes of course you can have access to your medical information in accordance with PHIPA.
Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)
The Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 PHIPA sets out rules to protect a patient’s personal health record across the health system. “Health information custodians” healthcare providers and organizations in the healthcare sector must follow these rules when collecting, using or sharing a patient’s personal health information. PHIPA also gives patients the right to see their health records and correct any mistakes. The legislation also has rules for non-health information custodians such as insurance companies and employers, that receive personal health information from a health information custodian.
Use this link:
In order to properly assess your medication needs, prescription renewal may require any appointment with the Nurse Practitioner. In most cases, we ask our patients to contact the pharmacy and have them fax us Refill Authorization. You may be required to complete blood or urine tests when renewing your medications.
Please note: We request 2 weeks notice for your renewal to be completed.
If you have an abnormal lab test, you will receive a call from us. We do not call you if the results are normal. You may wish to check your results with the Nurse Practitioner at your next visit to the Algoma Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic.
Notes, Letters and Form Completion
Completion of letters or forms for school, work, and insurance companies will require an appointment. Please note this may take up to 30 days, depending on complexity form.
What do I do to prepare for my appointment?
If you require any paperwork to be filled out by the Nurse Practitioner please bring it with you to your appointment with your section(s) completed. If you are in need of medication refills or to discuss a medication change please bring the medication(s) with you. If you require any assistance with communicating with the clinical staff please bring someone with you. Please have any and all outstanding tests (i.e.: blood work or X-ray) done at least one week before your appointment. Please write down your questions/concerns to be sure you ask the questions you would like answered.
Do I have to pay for anything at the Algoma NPLC?
We do charge for chart copies if you require your medical file to be printed out for you. The fee does vary depending on the amount of pages to be processed. Other Non-OHIP covered procedures and programs may have an associated fee. Any fee(s) will be discussed with your prior to the procedure or program. Metered parking facilities are available at the clinic for $1.00 per hour.
Can I email my NP my health questions and can I leave messages?
Unfortunately we are unable to ensure confidential correspondence in a timely manner through email or voicemail at this time. Any questions for your provider should be discussed at an appointment where these questions and concerns can be addressed confidentially and promptly answered.
What is your policy on cancelling and/or missed appointments?
The Algoma NPLC clinic does not have a strict policy for missed appointments at this time. We do request 24hours notice for cancelling an appointment to provide us enough time to try and fill the appointment slot. In the future we may charge a fee for frequently missed appointments.
Do you have reminder calls for appointments?
At this time the clinic is trailing a reminder call system that calls our patients 24-48 hours prior to the appointment. This system is only available for certain types of appointments such as the counselling appointments with our registered social worker. In the future we may have reminder calls for all appointment types.