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Quality Improvement in Groups

Physician speaking to colleagues on a group video call

A new subset of our Quality programming supports physicians working together to drive improvement in their community settings

Physicians participating in our Quality Improvement (QI) Program now have the option of collaborating with other physicians to help each other improve how they practise.  

The Groups subset allows physicians to work together to develop and submit a single Practice Improvement Plan (PIP). In their Group PIP, physicians identify areas of strength and areas for improvement in their practice, and develop a minimum of two goals, one of which can be a physician health/self-care goal. Examples of real-life improvement ideas include:  

Clinical goals

  • Identify target population of children less than two years of age to determine how many are up to date with their 18-month immunizations; develop interventions to address the gap; remeasure after six months.
  • Improve follow-up of pacemaker patients by defining the target population, developing communication strategies and assessing outcomes (number of patients who received appropriate and timely follow-up).
  • Implement patient satisfaction surveys to capture the patient experience.
  • Increase use of secure eForms from 9 to 25 per week and re-evaluate quarterly.
  • Prescribe nature to target population at least once a week per provider, using an evidence-based online nature prescription tool embedded in the Group’s EMR; after three months, measure number of prescriptions per provider.

Wellness goal

  • Enroll and participate in an evidence-based course on the topic of managing secondary traumatic stress, self-compassion and/or mindfulness; develop SMART goals, based on course content and recommendations, to enhance physician wellness.

Group members individually complete online QI activities (QI Survey, Practice Profile, Self-Guided Chart Review, and Data-Driven QI), then work together to develop and submit their Group PIP. 

Any CPSO member who is invited to participate in QI for Individuals can opt to form a QI Group by connecting with up to six peers, even those who have yet to be selected for QI by CPSO. All group members can thereby fulfil their own quality requirements for five years. 

The composition of QI Groups can vary and may include colleagues: 

  • Practising in the same practice or community;
  • Working in the same area of practice, e.g., physicians providing palliative care, but not necessarily co-located;
  • Developing practice-level improvements in one’s problem-based learning group; 
  • Seeking opportunities to collaborate on quality improvement within the new Ontario Health Teams (OHTs).

Dr. Mary Manno, a CPSO Medical Advisor overseeing QI Groups, says she is pleased with the results of the pilot project. “Participants were not only able to brainstorm with their peers about quality improvement, but in working together, they reported a reduced administrative burden and a more enjoyable experience overall.”  

To date, 260 physicians have opted to participate in the Groups subset during 2022, forming a total of 72 groups.  

Ms. Mary Bayliss, Director of CPSO’s Quality Programs, says the numbers indicate a strong appetite among the profession for peer-to-peer connection and system collaboration.   

“And with more of our members shifting to practising in a group setting, we want to make sure that our quality oversight programming fits into that trend.”  

Physicians who join a group and successfully complete all QI Program requirements will be offered all the benefits of the QI for Individuals Program, including:

  • Meeting their CPSO Quality requirements for five years;
  • The opportunity to earn more than 30 CPD credits;
  • Attention to self-care and physician wellness; and
  • A flexible schedule to complete the program.

Groups also have access to CPSO’s Medical Advisors and QI Coaches. Using their QI knowledge and experience, these physicians can support participants as they progress through the Program.  

Overview of the QI Program for Individuals 

The QI Program for Individuals and its Groups subset are comprised of multiple learning activities. Here is an overview of each:   

  • The QI Survey is a questionnaire that provides the College with current information about a participant’s clinical setting. The information received is used by QI Program staff to better understand a physician’s practice and may be used in combination with the Practice Improvement Plan.    
  • The Practice Profile is an independent self-assessment designed to educate physicians about the evidence-based risk and support factors that could impact their practice. The Practice Profile’s aim is to provide resources to enhance positive practice
  • The Self-Guided Chart Review allows physicians to engage in self-guided learning to enhance their compliance with the CPSO’s Medical Records Documentation policy. This self-directed chart review engages physicians in both reflection and conversation with a trusted peer when developing a Practice Improvement Plan.
  • Data-Driven Quality Improvement is designed to get physicians looking at their own practice-level data to inform their Practice Improvement Plan.
  • The Practice Improvement Plan is to be completed by physicians in the Individual stream. In their Practice Improvement Plans, physicians identify areas of strength and areas for improvement in their practice, and develop a minimum of two goals. The Practice Improvement Plan is developed from information gleaned from the Practice Profile, Self-Guided Chart Review and the Data-Driven Quality Improvement activities. After the completion of this activity, the Practice Improvement Plan will be reviewed by a physician QI coach
  • Coaching will be available when needed. QI coaches offer participants support to further develop and refine their Individual or Group Practice Improvement Plans.