April 01, 2015

On April 1st, the Practice Support Program (PSP) will start to implement changes to its evolving service delivery model.

After much collaboration with Divisions of Family Practice and health authority Regional Support Team (RST) leadership, the PSP’s service delivery model now aims to offer more flexibility and increased partnerships while continuing to enrich the quality of patient care. All PSP services will continue to develop as learned from these partnerships.

To further help physicians with quality improvement efforts, practice support services are changing with increased collaboration in planning and expanded regional support teams, considering small group learning sessions, and continuing with modules, in-practice coaching, and initiative support. 

Changing services

Local Collaborative Tables
PSP is introducing increased local collaborative service planning in response to divisions and physician request for increased collaboration and with the GPSC’s endorsement of localized PSP service planning in 2015/16.

Local tables will aim to better align service prioritization and delivery between PSP and divisions. The structure and representation of collaborative tables will be mutually determined by local divisions and RSTs to suit the needs of the local community. Discussions about collaborative tables are currently underway between health authority leadership and local divisions.

Regional Support Teams (RSTs)
This year, PSP expanded its regional support teams and the role of the RSTs to better support and expand the delivery of PSP services.

With substantial achievement of Meaningful Use 3 (MU3) across the province and with the completion of PSP-TG’s post-implementation support, PSP is now well-positioned to begin integrating key aspects of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) support into its service model.

It is important to note that the role of the RST will not replace the role of the EMR vendors or physician peer mentors in providing physicians with specific software functionality support. As the day-to-day function of each RST will vary regionally, all RSTs will continue to support quality improvement activities, and now within the context of EMRs. Some examples include:

  • supporting the use of EMR embedded clinical templates and tools and of registries to better monitor chronic disease and complex care patients within a physician’s panel, 
  • identifying opportunities to improve office efficiencies through available EMR functionality, and
  • increasing the use of real-time clinical data to empower physicians in identifying and driving meaningful quality improvement work within their practice and community.

PSP values its partners’ continued support during this transition and expansion. PSP is committed to supporting a quality improvement approach within this transition. PSP is currently offering training support for RSTs and will look to divisions as key partners for continued learning and service development.

User Groups/Small Group Learning
Many divisions have participated in user groups as valued peer learning and support focused on using EMRs. PSP is considering expanding the purpose and scope of user groups as small group learning sessions. Through PSP-TG’s post-implementation support and A GP for Me initiative work, PSP recognizes that divisions are at different phases of development with their use of EMRs for quality improvement work. And, as such, during the transition in 2015/16, there is the opportunity for user groups to continue to provide peer learning and support in achieving EMR optimization, as well as other division topics to support quality improvement work.

PSP’s goal is to provide increased opportunities for physicians to collectively address locally relevant quality improvement work.

As such, local divisions may access transitional funding for user groups/small group learning. The transitional funding is aimed to enable divisions to continue their quality improvement activities and EMR utilization while contributing to the understanding and development of a future small group learning model.

PSP and Divisions Central Office will be requesting input from divisions about User Group/Small Group learnings that each division may be planning for 2015/16. PSP will assess the information requests provincially, and determine resource capacity and a support process to enable divisions to continue this work.

Peer Mentors and GP Champions
PSP is expanding its existing GP Champion network to include PSP-TG’s Physician and Medical Office Assistant Peer Mentors program. GP Champions primarily engage to assist in the development and lead the delivery of clinical modules to cohorts of peers. Peer Mentors supported physicians with EMR implementation and post-implementation support with some mentors becoming subject matter experts on a variety of topics.

To provide flexible quality improvement practice support for physicians and their staff, PSP is working to coordinate and fund the integration of GP Champions and Peer Mentors. Details will be forthcoming.

Continuing services

Learning Modules
PSP will continue to offer its learning modules for its nine content areas: Advanced Access/Office Efficiency, Group Medical Visits/Patient Self-Management/Health Literacy, Adult Mental Health, Child and Youth Mental Health, Chronic Disease Management, End-of-Life, COPD/Heart Failure, Musculoskeletal, and Chronic Pain Management.

Topic prioritization and delivery schedules will be included in the collaborative planning process such as the collaborative PSP tables.

In-practice Coaching
As some local communities have already been offering office-based practice coaching, PSP will continue this flexible coaching approach as RST resources permit. In-practice coaching may be a valuable quality improvement component within PSP’s future model of small group learnings.

A GP for Me support
RSTs have been working with divisions to review and identify areas of potential A GP for Me support through their assessment and planning phases and will continue to provide those mutually agreed upon supports.

As PSP continues to refine its integrated service delivery model based on feedback from physicians and divisions, please contact the Practice Support Program for comments, inquiries or more information.