January 19, 2015

The Practice Support Program (PSP) is excited to share an update on its evolving service delivery model.

PSP originally launched in 2007 with a goal of providing module support to physicians and, over the years, PSP has continually refined its goals and services to better align with the developing needs of physicians and BC’s health care system.

In response to strong physician feedback, PSP’s development of a fully-integrated service is shaped by two key drivers: flexible and streamlined service delivery and the increasingly important role of EMRs in quality improvement work.

In its ongoing planning for maintaining meaningful support to physicians and their teams at the practice level, PSP is considering five key elements: collaboration with partners, module delivery, practice coaching, EMRs in ongoing quality improvement work, and accreditation of PSP programs for CME credit. 

After a review of various integrative service delivery models, PSP recognized the need to enhance the structure of its services to increase collaboration and ongoing communication with its partners. 

PSP, together with divisions and health authorities, is planning for Regional Support Teams (RSTs) and divisions to collaboratively develop work plans for the local delivery of integrated practice support services within available budgets and the work plans of the provincial PSP and regional RST.

In 2015, it is anticipated that health authorities and their local divisions of family practice will have conversations to determine how best to strengthen a collaborative working relationship that increases continuous communication and service delivery opportunities. Together, the health authority and each local division will determine a collaborative structure that best meets their mutual needs and that drives a support model of continuous quality improvement.

Module Delivery
The current modules will continue to be offered by RSTs as part of the new delivery model. The logistical and operational details about how they will be delivered will be collaboratively developed by the RSTs and the local divisions. It is also anticipated that these partners will jointly discuss new service delivery models that aim to increase flexibility of physician practice support. 

Practice Coaching
PSP practice coaching is a tailored, physician-driven approach to implementing meaningful improvements in a clinic or practice. With one-on-one support from a Regional Support Team (RST) member, physicians and their teams can identify and enhance desired areas of practice such as: patient access, chronic and preventative care, patient self-management, team communications, and community health partnerships, all enabled by the use of EMR data and tools. More information on PSP’s practice coaching will be forthcoming.

Recognizing that field resources are required to support localized, valuable, and effective services, RSTs will be collectively expanded by 22 new positions by April 2015. Reflective of the GPSC’s commitment to a fully integrated practice support model, these change agents will have a broad scope of responsibility with PSP’s practice coaching services.

In-practice peer coaching by peer mentors/champions and small group learning sessions (including clinical sessions and EMR user groups) have both been found to be very important and will also continue as integral to PSP’s support program.

PSP is currently mobilizing and strengthening supports that will position everyone for success in the next phases of PSP’s growth.

Until recently, physicians received separate and parallel supports from PSP, which delivered quality improvement and practice support, and PITO, which focused on EMR adoption and meaningful use. As of April 2014, PITO having achieved its goals for EMR adoption in the province, the PSP-Technology Group (PSP-TG) was formed, through the support of GPSC and SSC. PSP-TG’s mandate has been to continue post-implementation support services until March 31, 2015 to help physicians to reach a foundational level of day-to-day EMR use at Meaningful Use Level 3.

With the widespread adoption of EMRs, and the increasing proficiency of physicians in meaningful use of their EMRs, the foundation has been set for EMRs to be a pivotal tool in ongoing quality improvement work. PSP looks forward to using the tools and data made possible by EMRs in supporting quality improvement work and to demonstrate measurable progress and impact.

The current CME accreditation program for PSP services will continue to evolve to support physicians.  As new PSP service delivery methods are developed, PSP will continue working to provide the appropriate accreditation recognition. Sessional payments for physician participation in approved PSP quality improvement initiatives will continue.

PSP strives to continue to deliver practice support that is meaningful to providers. It is committed to working collaboratively with physicians and partners at divisions and health authorities to ensure the needs of physicians and their teams are being met.

Initially a program of the General Practice Services Committee, the PSP now also receives support from two additional Government of BC and Doctors of BC collaborative committees, the Shared Care Committee and the Specialist Services Committee.

For more information, please contact Graham Taylor, Executive Lead, Quality Improvement & Practice Support, Doctors of BC.