March 11, 2021
In this issue
  • Read through the Tentative Agreement Package and vote
  • Participate in the COVID-19 immunization program
  • What's the impact of Rx and medical care on DMC assessment?
  • 5 tips to consider when switching EMRs
  • March 21-27 is National Poison Prevention Week 
  • Colorectal cancer screening: How can you help improve participation rates?
  • What are the recommended changes to Cannabis for Medical Purposes?
  • Do you have power of attorney related questions?

Voting now open: Tentative Agreement Package
On Monday, March 8 voting opened on the Tentative Agreement Package between the AMA and government. Information is available on the AMA website: Tentative Agreement Package (member login required). The AMA Board of Directors invites you to review what has been negotiated and strongly encourages you to vote in favor of accepting the tentative agreement. Voting closes Tuesday, March 30 at 4 p.m.
Read all about it and vote

Participate in the COVID-19 immunization program
The AMA and Alberta Health have prepared a process to gauge community physician interest in assisting with the COVID-19 vaccination effort. This process will also help to determine the capacity available within which to administer vaccines in the province. Two options are available for community physicians and their partners to express interest in participating:
Option 1 
Physicians may administer vaccinations at an AHS Rapid Flow Site (not unlike how COVID-19 swabbing occurs).
Option 2
Physicians may offer a community clinic/site, perhaps in conjunction with partners such as your Primary Care Network or pharmacy.

Learn more

When evaluating DMC, how do medical conditions and medications affect cognition?
Mrs. Williams is an 86-year-old woman admitted to hospital with a two-week history of dysuria, confusion, falls and functional decline. Her past medical history includes hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer dementia and osteoporosis. Current medications include ramipril 5 mg daily, atorvastatin 40 mg daily, metformin 1,000 mg bid, calcium 500 mg daily and vitamin D 1,000 IU daily.
The issue of decision-making capacity (DMC) is increasingly being recognized as a significant concern to society and the health care system. The degree of impairment regarding one’s DMC can vary as a result of developmental or disease processes, cognitive impairment or brain injury. As the life expectancy of Canadians and prevalence of cognitive impairment continues to rise, health care professionals will encounter more patients with questionable DMC and thus, assessment of DMC emerges as an important issue. Medical care and prescribing can impact decision-making capacity assessment.
Read Optimized Prescribing with Seniors

Switching EMRs in changing times
As most if not all physicians know, making the decision to either remain with your current electronic medical record vendor or move to a new EMR platform is complex and should not be made lightly. This past year has brought many challenges to the physician community, increasing the need for a reliable, complete, cost effective EMR solution. There are many considerations and while the main driver is often cost, the EMR must meet the needs of the clinic while balancing a stable and secure platform.
If you are considering changing EMR platforms, we’ve put together five tips to help you navigate the current environment.
5 tips to consider when switching EMRs

Poison prevention…It’s in your hands
For National Poison Prevention Week, March 21-27, the Injury Prevention Centre, the Poison and Drug Information Service, Alberta Health Services and community partners from across Alberta are sharing messages encouraging Albertans to take action to prevent poisonings from disinfectants, hand sanitizers and household cleaners.
As Albertans take steps to protect their families and communities from COVID-19, they have increased their use of these products. While they are essential for cleaning and preventing the spread of the virus, when used incorrectly, these products can cause unintentional poisoning and serious injuries.
The Injury Prevention Centre is sharing information about safe storage and handling of these products in your community. Keep reading to learn more.
Learn more

Colorectal cancer screening: How can you help improve participation rates?
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program is working with physicians to encourage eligible individuals aged 50 to 74, to be screened every year using the Fecal Immunochemical Test, even during COVID-19.
Screening participation rates continue to be impacted by the pandemic
It may be difficult for some to think about preventative care right now, but it’s important that individuals continue to make colorectal cancer (CRC) screening a priority. In 2021, it’s estimated that 2,626 Albertans will be diagnosed with CRC. Early detection is key - 90% of cases can be treated successfully if found early. 
How can you help improve
participation rates?

CPSA’s consultation on Cannabis for Medical Purposes standard closes soon
Give your feedback by March 17.
Canada’s legalization of cannabis in 2018 means fewer Albertans are asking their physicians for medical cannabis authorizations. As a result, CPSA has proposed amendments to their Standard of Practice on Cannabis for Medical Purposes, to ensure their expectations of physicians are still reasonable and appropriate.
Find out more about the recommended changes and provide your feedback by visiting CPSA’s website. This consultation closes on Wednesday, March 17 and the amended standard reflecting your feedback will go to CPSA Council for approval in May.
Questions? Contact Chantelle Dick, CPSA Standards of Practice Advisor.

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Don't forget!
Have you submitted your nominations for the AMA Achievement Awards?
Nominations must be submitted by April 30. Awards to be presented at the AMA 2021 AGM.

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MD Scope Classifieds
In the March 11 MD Scope Classifieds you'll find listings for
- Physicians wanted
- Space available
- For sale
- Services
View MD Scope Classifieds

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