Sylvan Lake Urgent Care Committee chair Susan Samson and Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne cut cakes at the opening of Sylvan Lake’s Advanced Ambulatory Health Service in June. (File photo by Advocate staff).

Sylvan Lake Urgent Care Committee chair Susan Samson and Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne cut cakes at the opening of Sylvan Lake’s Advanced Ambulatory Health Service in June. (File photo by Advocate staff).

Two months in for Sylvan Lake’s new health service

Advanced Ambulatory Service fills need

Summer visitors and local residents are making quick use of Sylvan Lake’s long-awaited Advanced Ambulatory Health Service.

Manager Christine Farries said after the opening June 4 about 790 people used the service in June, followed by 1,316 in July.

“That’s quite a significant increase,” said Christine Farries, the manager of the service located at NexSource Centre.

“I think we’re pretty well received and people are pretty happy that we’re there to provide service.”

Staff at the Advanced Ambulatory Care Service — open seven days a week — diagnose and treat urgent but non-life threatening conditions, including sudden illness or injury. It is not to get a prescription, a refill, or check-up.

Farries said for the most part people are using the service for which it was intended. Doctors and nurses have seen patients with uncomplicated bone fractures, joint and muscle strains, minor cuts and burns, and minor allergic reactions.

Those people who do show up with more serious conditions are taken to the appropriate facility in a timely fashion, she said.

“We kind of anticipated we’d see those one-off people. We recognize them immediately.”

The most patients seen in a single day so far was 57 and the most seen in a week was 318. On the busiest weekend, Friday to Sunday, there were 127 patients.

“The team that’s out there, of nurses and physicians, they’ve worked really well together with the help of the lab and diagnostic imaging on site, and with the wonderful administration staff. We just seem to have meshed together.”

Farries said the process to move patients through has been streamlined for efficiency, and there may be other things to address in the future “but so far so good.”

She said more staff is on site for long weekends, like this weekend.

“We know we’re probably going to see a bit more injuries potentially from the lake, and there’s the huge hockey tournament.”

Those unsure if they should visit Advanced Ambulatory Care can call Health Like at 811 for advice from a registered nurse 24-7.

Sylvan Lake’s Advanced Ambulatory Care Service is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 4602 – 49th Ave.

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