Practice Support Program
The Practice Support Program (PSP) was launched in 2007 with two objectives: to improve care for patients throughout the province and to increase job satisfaction among BC’s general practitioners (GPs).The program offers focused training sessions for physicians and their medical office assistants (MOAs) to help improve practice efficiency and to support enhanced delivery of patient care.
In its first two years, the PSP provided valuable new skills and tools for more than 1400 physicians and MOAs who participated in the program. In the area of increased practice efficiency for example, 74% of physicians who participated in the Advanced Access learning module said they had reduced patient wait times for regular appointments and 49% reduced wait times for urgent appointments.
Physicians are also reporting enhancements to patient care as a result of their PSP training. Among GPs who participated in the Chronic Disease Management learning module, 89% said their training helped them to better care for patients with chronic diseases. The PSP is also improving the working relationship between GPs and their office staff, as reported by 72% of MOAs participating in the program
Currently the PSP offers a Practice Self-Assessment module and related learning modules in Advanced Access, Group Medical Visits, Patient Self Management, Chronic Disease Management and Mental Health. All clinical PSP modules are accredited for continuing medical education (CME).
Each PSP learning module involves three paid half-day group learning sessions, offered locally in communities throughout the province. Each group session is followed by an action period of six to eight weeks during which PSP participants try out what they’ve learned in their own practice. During action periods participants are supported through visits by Practice Support Team members. These visits are to ensure PSP participants get as much benefit as possible from their training and from the changes they implement in their practice.
The PSP began as an initiative of the GPSC and now receives additional direction, support, and funding from the Shared Care Committee and the Specialist Services Committee (also partnerships between the BCMA and MoH). The PSP also works closely with related programs (e.g., Physician Information Technology Office (PITO), the Divisions of Family Practice) in the delivery of training and support tools and services for BC physicians.