Annual Report 2022
Welcome to our 2022 Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice *virtual* Annual Report. Here, we warmly invite you to learn more about our collective impact over the past year and explore our strategic directions.
In fall 2021, our Division articulated a four pillar strategy to help practitioners meet patient and practice needs, lead change in an evolving primary care system, and work with partners to realize the vision of equitable, resilient and vibrant primary care for our region.
Our annual report provides us the opportunity to reflect on progress we’ve made, and outline plans for the coming year, and beyond.
Feedback from the 2021 member survey, validated by our spring 2022 clinic lunches, highlighted clear priorities which our Division allocated its resources to this year, including:
We’ve made headway in all areas, recruiting 19 new Family Physicians and NPs to Kootenay Boundary, and supporting the recruitment of 5 specialists to our region. In August we received $1.6 million of new annual funding to expand our Primary Care Network, bringing another 9.5 FTE practitioners to our region, and bringing the PCN total to 41 FTE. We launched KBHealthOnline.ca, providing interim care to unattached complex patients and helping them find a longitudinal provider. Community Primary Care Clinics continue to gather steam in multiple communities and we are incubating the Prima Health concept to support them, intended to reduce the administrative burden for practitioners, enabling them to focus more attention on providing care to their patients, while tackling unattachment with an expanded team.
We helped 2 clinics with switching EMRs, 3 with EMR analytics support to explore potential improvements, and continue to maintain and improve our local Pathways online resource to help streamline practitioner workflow for the 70% of Division members and clinics using it regularly. We piloted a robust financial analytics tool that has proven itself to help practitioners understand and uncover inefficiencies, with the objective of better work/life balance and greater profitability of their practices. Our MOA appreciation event is back in live format this year, and we launched a toolkit and ran 7 successful workshops to support MOAs and practitioners with the pressures resulting from the primary care crisis.
We start this year’s Executive Report shining a light on these positive impacts of our work, because they are easily overshadowed by the primary care crisis which we face as a Division, region, province and country. Indeed despite all our efforts, the number of patients unable to find a provider in our region peaked in Kootenay Boundary over the summer at 18,600. While ongoing departures and recruitments makes this figure an oscillating target, all evidence suggests the trend over the next decade is poor.
The silver bullet we all desire is recruiting the practitioners we need to fill the gap, but demand far outweighs supply in all jurisdictions; there simply aren’t enough practitioners, nationally and internationally, graduating into family practice. This problem is fundamentally not of our creation, so we continue to advocate for our provincial and federal leadership to better plan for the future. However, we must also contemplate what to do in the meantime to help the people in our communities desperately needing care.
Deciding what elements of this problem we should take on is complex. The solutions being explored strike at the heart of the values we hold, and differences in the care we provide as family practitioners. As we explore changes to practice to address unattachment, tensions surface in topics such as:
- Despite evidence that longitudinal care results in better outcomes, does our social contract suggest we should also provide episodic care to those with no access?
- Should unattached complex patients get special attention, at the cost of access to less complex, attached patients?
- How can we provide top of scope care to an inevitably larger, and increasingly complex number of patients?
- If we address unattachment, are we alleviating provincial decision makers from their responsibility for the problem, and doing this at the cost of our burnout?
Over this fall and early 2023 we will present our members with these challenging conversations and difficult choices, seeking direction for our work.
For the past 12 years, Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice has focused on building relationships, relationships with patients, practitioners, our health care partners, and our communities. As a board, we believe strongly that it is these relationships that will support us in facing these tough choices, and in making the best decisions we can, with the information and evidence available to us. It is these relationships that will support us in taking another positive step on the journey to provide equitable, resilient and vibrant primary care to every person in Kootenay Boundary.
This 5-minute video highlights strategic directions and featured impacts within our mission to help practitioners meet patient and practice needs, lead change in an evolving primary care system, and work with partners to shape a better future for health care in BC.
Throughout 2021-2022 KB Division advanced 15 projects within our four pillars of strategic focus: Clinic Supports, Team Based Care, Clinic Operations, and Engaged Community. We also hosted and administrated 9 Shared Care projects. A collection of KB Division project highlights is captured below, alongside photos from our KB medical community - featuring some of our members, practitioners, and clinic staff taken over the past year. Explore a complete snapshot of all current KB Division projects here →
The Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice extends sincere gratitude to all of our members across the region and to our many health care and community partners for your collaboration and shared dedication.
We gratefully acknowledge the funding of the Family Practice Services Committee, Shared Care Committee and Innovation Fund as well as the support of the Division of Family Practice provincial office and Shared Care central office.
To our passionate physician leads, dedicated committees, patient partners, and skilled contractors - thank you for your contributions and leadership.
The Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice acknowledges that we work on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Sinixt, and Syilx First Nations, home to the Métis and many diverse Aboriginal communities.
Acknowledging that we are on the traditional territories of Indigenous communities is an expression of cultural humility and involves recognizing our duty and desire to support the provision of culturally safe care to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in Kootenay Boundary and BC.