Submitted by Carrie Stefanson, senior consultant, Public Affairs

The 15-bed unit will give patients better access to internal medicine care.

Internal medicine is a bit like detective work. But while Dr. Gregory House of the fictional TV series House, M.D. may solve medical mysteries in one episode, real-life internal medicine is more complex and the diagnoses aren’t always clear.

“With this new dedicated Internal Medicine Unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital we are able to provide more robust multi-disciplinary care to our patients with a goal to improve outcomes for our patients and decrease their length of stay in the hospital,” says Dr. Euiseok Kim, internal medicine specialist and department head, Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

Rather than having patients dispersed on medicine units throughout the hospital and referred to internal medicine specialists for care, patients with complex needs are now co-located in the new Internal Medicine Unit. There, they receive team-based care from internal medicine doctors, nurses and patient care coordinators and are also connected to allied health providers including social workers, pharmacists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

“Internal medicine units are a focal point for team-based care, learning and teaching and really are the frontier of medicine,” says Dr. Mark Ballard, internal medicine specialist and regional medical director.

Abbotsford Regional Hospital is now the third site in the Fraser Health region to have an internal medicine unit, joining our two other regional hospitals, Surrey Memorial Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital.

Watch Dr. Kim explain how internal medicine units improve patient care:

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