The Comox Valley division has partnered with community representatives and local RCMP to establish a standardized approach to safe opioid practices in the community. This work includes the creation of the division’s Safe Opioid Algorithm, and a presentation by Dr Charuka Maheswaran-Moeller that was featured on an episode of Where We All Belong, a 14-episode series created by the Courtenay Drug Strategy Committee in collaboration with Shaw Community Television.
The Safe Opioid Prescribing Algorithm aims to help ensure that opioid medications are used only as prescribed. The algorithm walks doctors through a process that involves performing a baseline assessment of a patient’s pain issues, reviewing alternative pain management strategies with the patient, and re-assessing the patient to determine whether an alternative pain management strategy has been effective. If no alternative strategies are effective, the algorithm leads doctors to the next steps of creating an opioid treatment agreement with the patient (which is then shared with the pharmacist), trialing opioid therapy, follow-up, and a re-assessment of goals. If the patient’s pain issues are still not being addressed, or if opioids are not being used as prescribed, the algorithm lays out a process for referring to a specialist or employing an exit strategy from opioid treatment, which can include discussing consequences with the patient and reporting aberrant behaviour.
The division has also created a set of resources and tools to accompany the Safe Opioid Prescribing Algorithm. The Comox Valley Safe Opioid Prescribing Algorithm Resources & Tools is a comprehensive document that includes:
New provincial guidelines suggest that withdrawal management is most effective when it is part of a long-term wellness and recovery plan, through which individuals may be linked with ongoing support services that may include a combination of psychosocial treatment interventions, psychosocial supports, residential treatment, and pharmacotherapies. >
The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice has developed an innovative way to support local doctors in caring for patients with addiction issues. Recognizing the importance of providing doctors with opportunities to become educated in Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), members of the division’s physician advisory team concluded that physicians also need proactive support in order to gain confidence in the process for prescribing Buprenorphine-Naloxone (Suboxone and its generics). The team speculated that this support could be provided remotely, on a case-by-case basis, by addiction specialists acting as physician e-mentors. >
response to the growing opioid crisis in the province, many divisions
of family practice are supporting doctors and patients in their
communities by creating resources on opioid prescribing and pain
Kootenay Boundary has created a wide range of tools and resources to assist physicians in helping their patients manage chronic pain. >
The John Barsby Wellness Centre, a collaborative project involving the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice, received the Excellence in Quality: Staying Healthy award at the 2017 Quality Awards. Providing students with easy access to health care practitioners including GPs, RNs, a social worker, and mental health counsellors, the Centre is a natural fit for an award celebrating projects that prevent injury, illness, or disability. >
New doctors are setting up practice in 11 provinces around BC, after completing the latest session of the Practice Readiness Program (PRA-BC, a collaborative service between the Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC). >
Nearly 300 of BC’s primary health care leaders attended a two-day event in Richmond earlier this week for the GPSC’s Summit: Moving Forward Together.
Attendees included physicians and staff from Divisions of Family Practice, and representatives from the GPSC, Doctors of BC, Ministry of Health, and health authorities. As partners in the A GP for Me initiative, they celebrated their collective achievements and discussed their shared learnings. Read more >
The Burnaby Division of Family Practice has created a series of videos to promote the city to doctors who may be interested in practising in the area. Video participants include international medical graduate Dr Karendeep Gill, Burnaby GPs Dr John Rideout and Dr Lindsay McCaffrey, and GPSC Co-Chair Dr Shelley Ross. >
As part of its work to support retiring physicians, the Vancouver Division of Family Practice has developed a new How to Retire Guide. The 52-page booklet provides guidance for doctors at any stage of retirement planning, from starting a plan, to finding a replacement doctor, to closing a practice. >
The Northern Interior Rural Division have been engaged in two unique projects to improve primary care delivery in their area: developing a secure texting system for physicians and providing micro-credit funding for Advance Care Planning. >
To strengthen the interface between divisions and the GPSC, the committee welcomes a group of family doctors to represent the division voice from the five regions across BC. >
Doctors Technology Office (DTO) is seeking physicians to join in a series of upcoming webinars on information management and information technology (IM/IT) related initiatives at the regional and provincial level. To support doctors in ensuring that there is more clinical input into IM/IT projects that affect doctors, these webinars are designed to create space for doctors to give feedback and be engaged by stakeholders. >
Fraser Northwest Division launched its interpretation services program in 2013, a project spearheaded by Dr Patricia Gabriel. Through the program, division members were given access to interpretation services through the Provincial Language Service. Interpretation was provided in 17 different languages, and doctors who used the service said that their communication with patients was improved, especially for patients with more complex health issues. >
Doctors Nicholas Petropolis and Joelle Bradley of the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice have been awarded Above and Beyond Awards by the Fraser Health Authority for their work enhancing primary care in BC. >
On September 22, 2016, family physicians in BC began receiving electronic notifications about acute care data via their EMR systems, thanks to the Information for Coordinated Care (ICC) Project - a partnership between the Fraser Health Authority and the region’s divisions of family practice. >
A growing number of divisions have developed or are interested in developing videos to highlight their projects, their physicians, and their communities. Others have arranged or are planning photoshoots to build a collection of images to use on their websites, promotional materials, etc. >
On June 30, 2016, Sunshine Coast Division of Family Practice member Dr Michael Klein was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada by David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. >
Drs Jel Coward (Rural and Remote Division), Norm Lea (Kootenay Boundary Division), and David May (Powell River Division) have received the Rural Coordination Centre of BC’s Awards in Excellence in Rural Medicine for 2016. The Awards honour rural physicians whose contributions to the practice of rural medicine have improved the health and well-being of their community. >
Doctors can now access simple and useful PSP screening and diagnostic tools in their EMRs. PSP has partnered with EMR vendors to provide clinical, patient, and community resources. These specialized tools help improve identification of patients with often under-diagnosed conditions such as chronic pain, adult mental health, child and youth mental health, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. >
Doctors of BC invites division physician members to provide their input/feedback on draft policy papers developed, respectively, by its Council on Health Promotion (COHP) and Council on Health Economics and Policy (CHEP). The papers were developed by working groups made up of physicians with a special interest in these two areas of health care quality improvement. >
Recognizing the need for coordinated care for patients in the Comox region in the event of a catastrophe, the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice has created a detailed emergency response plan for care providers in the area. >
Dr Josh Greggain of the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice has been awarded the Fraser Health Above & Beyond award for Service Delivery Excellence, an award recognizing individuals who go above and beyond to achieve extraordinary results in health care delivery. >
Looking for a practical, interactive, collaborative environment to solve problems and embed practice improvements into your clinic or office? Contact your RST about participating in PSP’s small group learning sessions. While groups can vary in size, frequency, or specialty, the common thread is solution-focused discovery about locally and clinically relevant topics, as identified your divisions of family practice. Some sessions may be eligible for CME accreditation. Read more. >
Delta hospital has announced plans to strengthen services at the facility, including funding for three ORs, a pre-admission clinic, and a short-stay surgical area. The hospital is also working closely with the Delta Division of Family practice and local orthopedic surgeons to establish an orthopedic/cast clinic at the hospital by early 2016.
Click here to read the Delta Optimist story about the upcoming improvements. >
There’s a right time to lead change. And, that time is now, and it starts with the Leadership and Management Development Program at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. >
Primary care is changing and from now through September, all BC family doctors will have an opportunity to share their ideas about how they want to practice and care for their patients in the future.
The General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) visioning process will provide GPs with multiple opportunities to have their say, including online options and in-person engagement events. What the GPSC hears will lead to a GP vision for the future of primary care that will help it to influence policy, set priorities and allocate its budget for the next three to five years. The decisions made will impact GPs, their practices and their patients. >
The GPSC is making key changes to its incentive codes to aid doctors with actuated billings of GPSC incentive fee codes, particularly A GP for Me codes.
In response to feedback from divisions, these developments seek to bring clarity, alignment, and coordination to the GPSC incentives. The adjustments effect documentation and timing requirements, condition-based payments, and eligibility. These changes are effective August 1st. For details, please visit the GPSC website. >
More than 120 family doctors across the province have now graduated from the GPSC’s Leadership and Management Development Program. With more doctors keenly honing their leadership and management skills, the program, which always has more interest than available spaces, is being touted as transformational and to having the power to create change. Read more. >
Dr Skye Creba, a member of the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice, has been awarded the Vancouver Island University 2015 Distinguished Alumni Early Achievement Award. Dr Creba, an ER doc at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, graduated from VIU in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree. >
This summary presents key items discussed by the GPSC Visioning Steering Committee (VSC) at the June 9 meeting to inform local divisions of family practice and family physicians about the process. >
The GPSC is continuing to accept applications until June 1, 2015 for its Maternity Care for BC (MC4BC) program. Family physicians interested in training and for support for low-risk maternity services are encouraged to participate in the program, which offers mentorship, hands-on experience, and financial support. >
The residential care initiative is expanding province-wide. The initiative is designed to enable physicians to develop local solutions to improve care for patients in residential care facilities. >
Nothing fuels innovation and reveals untapped potential like a big challenge; something the North Peace Division of Family Practice has first-hand experience with. The community lost eight GPs in a period of two months, resulting in huge increases in clinic wait-times. While developing ideas to help alleviate this urgent problem, the Division made an interesting discovery – a technology tool originally intended to facilitate follow-up calls was also able to dramatically decrease wait times at two clinics. Not only does this make things better for patients, it also improves conditions for physicians and medical office staff. >
The PSP’s EMR Post-Implementation Support to achieve Meaningful Use Level 3 (MU3) is drawing to a close. Physicians are reminded to complete their Objective Data Dashboard (ODD) report submissions and related payment requests by end-of-day on March 31st. >
Many divisions have maintained committees to facilitate leadership and coordination of EMR/IT within their communities, either as a division board sub-committee or as a separate “EMR Community of Practice” committee. >
The Practice Support Program (PSP) is excited to share an update on its evolving service delivery model. >
As part of the Provincial Training Initiative, Vantage Point continues to offer a series of three-hour, hands-on workshops and shorter webinars to support board and organizational development. >
The summary report from the GPSC Fall Summit, which took place November 28-29, 2016, is available online in a new web-based interactive format.Read more >