Family doctor finds fit at PEI patient medical home

“There is something fantastic going on in Hunter River,” says Dr. Kaylee Murphy, a family physician at the Central Queens Health Centre. 

In July 2023, the centre transitioned to a patient medical home – a place where family doctors, nurses, and other health professionals like physiotherapists and registered dietitians provide coordinated care to patients under one roof. 

For example, if a patient needs to see a physiotherapist, staff might book that directly without requiring that they see their family doctor for a referral first. If that same patient needed an x-ray, physiotherapy can collaborate with the physician to get the patient what they need. 

“It removes a lot of barriers and extra steps so patients get the care they need when they need it,” says Dr. Murphy.

The patient medical home model also reduces the time doctors and other health care professionals spend on administrative tasks, freeing them up to spend more time delivering care to patients.   

“There’s a lot of emphasis on workflow and making sure everybody's doing what they need to do so providers are happy and able to provide the care they need to without burning out.”

The team-based model works well for Dr. Murphy who joined Health PEI in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Even then, she says she felt immediately supported. 

“I was coming into a new large practice of patients I had never met, dealing with complex disease, sometimes working virtually to minimize the risks of COVID,” says Dr. Murphy. “But I had nursing staff assigned to work with me. I had an LPN (licensed practical nurse) and a medical office assistant who knew the patients and could act as a conduit. It was really helpful. It just felt like we weren’t alone.”

With a mutual love of hard science and interacting with people, becoming a physician was a natural fit for Dr. Murphy. She chose family medicine for its broad scope, complexity, and most of all, ability to see the same patients over many years.   

“I value that long-term relationship with patients,” says Dr. Murphy, “That’s the best part.” 

Originally from Newtown, Cape Breton, the physician says practicing in a rural setting while living in a small city is one of the perks of her job and living in PEI. 

“Charlottetown is the right balance with everything you need in a city without being too big and sitting in traffic all the time,” she says.

A champion of the EMR (electronic medical record system) with the PEI Medical Society, Dr. Murphy has also enjoyed meeting other physicians around the province to share how the system works for her in Hunter River.

 “Even though this one took a little bit of figuring it out, I took to it quickly, and very quickly,” she says. “For me, it increased my efficiency and my access for patients.”

Connecting with colleagues and patients, and working with a team, Dr. Murphy, now in her sixth year of practice and the mother of an 18-month-old daughter, has found a full and satisfying life on PEI.  

“I’m very happy here,” she says. “I feel like I’ve hit my stride.” 

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Published date: 
May 14, 2024
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