Dr. Matt Chow, our new Doctors of BC Co-Chair for the SSC operates under the belief that everyone has three unique stories: their past, now and what’s yet to be. As a trained psychiatrist, it is not surprising to find Matt’s practice is part of the ‘Three Story Clinic’, which clearly reflects this belief.
Introducing Dr. Matt Chow – new SSC Co-chair
More Physicians Complete PQI Training
Physicians from across Vancouver Island gathered in Sidney last week to celebrate the graduation of cohort two from the Physician Quality Improvement initiative.
Reducing Stress in the Emergency Department
Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST)
Dr. Valorie Masuda has been working in palliative care for seven years and has helped care for hundreds of people near the end of their lives.
Team approach streamlines musculoskeletal care in Kelowna
As the third largest metropolitan area in BC, Kelowna faced a growing concern over the timely and appropriate treatment for people in their community with musculoskeletal issues (MSK).
Orthopedic surgeons, Drs John Oliver and Curtis Myden submitted a proposal to the SSC and received funding to undertake a quality improvement initiative to increase patient access at the Kelowna Bone and Joint Health. MSK care was offered through eight separate orthopedic surgical practices operating at this site.
LEAN principles improve perioperative efficiency
St. Paul’s Hospital initiated a LEAN project to improve efficiency in the surgical daycare and operating rooms. The goals were to improve access, patient flow, patient and provider satisfaction and communication. A team at St. Paul’s Hospital involving surgeons, anesthesia, surgical department head, surgical managers, clinical nurse leaders, surgical directors, decision support and a consultant worked to reduce delays and improve the experience of surgical daycare patients
Spotlight on a Specialty: Palliative Medicine
Palliative medicine is such a complex and amazing field – it is where the art of being human and the art of medicine truly come together. Palliative care doctors constantly face patients with life-threatening illnesses. And it is not just their patients who need care, family members also need support, as their loved ones are often moving towards the most profound stage of any life – the end stage.
Managing SSC Fees
SSC has made various changes to its fees and introduced new ones over the past few years to support specialists delivering high quality care to patients. Unlike regular fee-for-service fees funding through the Medical Services Plan, SSC’s budget is capped on an annual basis. As a collaborative committee, we have the responsibility to manage these fees. Therefore, we are making changes to ensure the fees remain aligned with their original intent while keeping utilization within SSC's fixed budget. We have worked hard to ensure minimal impact to you while achieving our fiscal goals. New fee changes take effect July 1, 2017. See Special Bulletin for more information.
Spotlight on a Specialty – Cardiology
Our heart – when we’re happy, we say our heart is full of joy; when we’re sad, we say our heart hurts or is broken. We often use our heart as a measure for our emotional well-being. But when our heart suffers physical damage, it’s the Cardiologists we turn to for help.
Virtual MS clinic better supports new treatment options
Times have changed. Multiple Sclerosis used to be a disease with very little treatment options and a progressive ability to severely disable those affected by it. Within the last five to six years, new drug therapies have proven to be making major inroads in slowing the progression of the disease and in some cases resulting in no evidence of disease activity. However, with these new drugs comes a higher risk profile and the need for greater monitoring.
Facility Engagement is identifying physician priorities
At a recent standing-room only Medical Staff Association meeting at Vancouver General Hospital, more than 120 physicians turned out to learn about the Vancouver Physician Staff Association Facility Engagement (FE) plans. A request to identify priorities resulted in 36 project proposals that ultimately support better patient care. Other sites are seeing similarly enthusiastic responses from physicians. Medical staff working at 42 hospitals are being formally asked about their priorities, and have a formal structure in place where they can express their views and more importantly - be heard.
Adding physicians tests new triage process for 8-1-1
Dr. Eric Grafstein is a curious man, which always served him well. It is curiosity that led him to submit a proposal to the SSC’s Quality and Innovation (Q&I) Initiative to pilot a project to make physician telephone consultations available for more urgent calls – considered ‘red calls’ made to the HealthLinkBC 8-1-1 line. He was curious to know if adding a physician would reduce the number of ‘red calls’ ending up in the emergency department (ED). SSC funded the five-month pilot through the Q&I Initiative.
Many benefits to QI projects
Physician Quality Improvement (PQI) (previously called: Regional Quality Improvement) is an SSC-funded initiative that provides $1.3 million annually to each health authority to support physician involvement in QI. Physicians participate in QI activities through training and completion of projects. Although the focus of PQI is to increase physician involvement – many people can participate and benefit. Anna Hwang, a recent graduate of SFU is one such person.
Spotlight on a Specialty – Radiology
It was one particular moment in medical school that propelled Dr William Siu, President of the BC Radiological Society, to venture into the field of Radiology. “While attending rounds as a senior medical student, I was blown away by what I saw an Interventional Radiologist do for a particular case – a case that highlighted the cutting edge and futuristic potential of Interventional Radiology. This was what led me to choose Radiology for my residency.”
Easier access to mental health services for students
Inspired by a TED Talk, Dr. Marilyn Thorpe, a Victoria psychiatrist working through the University of Victoria (UVic) Health Services began the Psychiatrist-led Interdisciplinary Team (PIT) project. Funded by SSC, a 30-minute PIT appointment is structured to incorporate the family doctor’s knowledge of and experience with the student-patient and a psychiatrist’s immediate assessment and care planning. If a more comprehensive review is needed, full psychiatric consultations are scheduled.
Learning and building QI and leadership skills
As part of SSC’s strategy to support physician engagement, SSC is funding and partnering with each Health Authority to help build physician quality improvement (QI) expertise and leadership skills through the Regional QI Initiative. The Physician Quality and Regional Safety Team (PQRST) at Fraser Health (FH) was the first to get going in April 2015. More than a year later, the first PQRST cohort has completed an evaluation of their activities, gaining some impressive results and learnings.
Managing diabetes care - planning for the 21st century
About 400,000 people in BC suffer from diabetes. While the disease sounds simple – high blood sugar – the long-term complications are not. Those complications include heart disease, chronic kidney failure, eye damage and circulation issues, and have a major impact on BC’s health care system.
Setting a course for the future
The SSC’s mandate is to facilitate collaboration with Doctors of BC, the BC government and BC’s Health Authorities on the delivery of specialist-physician services to British Columbians and supports the improvement of the specialist care system. But the big question is “how”?
Spotlight on a Specialty – Geriatric Medicine
In the words of Sophocles, “no one longs to live more than someone growing old.” Thanks to medical advances over the last decade, nowadays it seems living longer is inevitable. But with longevity comes an aging population – one that encounters health problems typically specific to older adults. That’s where Geriatricians come in.