Dr. Steven MacDougall

A patient with diabetes may go to a walk-in clinic to receive one refill and then have to make an appointment with their family doctor for a follow-up appointment. That’s two visits instead of one, if the patient is able to see their own doctor from the get-go. It’s more efficient for my patients and it’s simply better care.

Same-day access improves care

Dr. Steven MacDougall has transformed his clinical practice and is improving patient care with same-day appointments and house calls. A family doctor in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Dr. MacDougall has made visits to the doctor more convenient for roughly 3,000 patients in his practice.

The decision to reform his practice stemmed from the chronic backlog in the emergency room of Cape Breton Regional Hospital – a condition common in many centres across the province. “Many people go to the emergency room when they can’t see a doctor when they need to,” said Dr. MacDougall. “I believe my patients should be seen when and where they want.”

Dr. Steven MacDougallThis patient-centred approach allows patients to call the clinic and book appointments when they want, even for later the same day. The clinic also makes house calls to patients who have difficulty making trips to the office. “Prior to this system my patients had to wait three weeks to see me. Now it’s virtually same day so I deal with health issues as they arise,” said Dr. MacDougall.

Previously, if a patient had to be seen on short notice they would get squeezed in similar to a triage model. This new structure has reduced the number of cancellations and no-shows from 25 per cent to only four per cent. What’s even more remarkable is the number of the clinic’s patients visiting the emergency room fell by nearly 30 per cent.
But it’s the improvement in the quality of care that Dr. MacDougall is most proud of. Close to seventy per cent of what primary care physicians do is manage chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. When patients have a consistent caregiver they are better able to manage these ailments.

A patient with diabetes may go to a walk-in clinic to receive one refill and then have to make an appointment with their family doctor for a follow-up appointment. That’s two visits instead of one, if the patient is able to see their own doctor from the get-go. It’s more efficient for my patients and it’s simply better care.

Community Support

Submitted By: Joseph macdougall

About: Dr. Steven MacDougall

I first saw Steve as a child, just prior to opening his practice, on an ER visit to St. Rita’s. My family & I were some of his 1st patients. He’s been my doctor ever since. I work in a […]

Submitted By: paula hines

About: Dr. Steven MacDougall

I’ve been seeing “Steve” all my adult life and I receive prompt care and the best care for my many maladies. Dr. MacDougall is not only a great doctor but you couldn’t meet a finer man. I feel so fortunate […]

Submitted By: Brenda wylde

About: Dr. Steven MacDougall

As a new young doctor, Steven MacDougall took on a daunting task, he accepted a referral from our paediatrician and took on our family as patients. You see our baby had just been diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta–a condition most have never seen. It has […]

Submitted By: Reena Gillis

About: Dr. Steven MacDougall

During a recent family member’s hospital stay, Dr. MacDougall was filling in for Dr. Susan MacLeod and came regularly to check on my relative after surgery. Dr. MacDougall makes patients feel very comfortable and doesn’t rush. He is caring and […]