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Using quality improvement, practice-level data, and research to improve everyday practice

The College of Family Physicians of Canada’s (CFPC) Practice Improvement Initiative (Pii) harnesses quality improvement (QI) approaches, practice-level data, and research to continually improve care, the patient experience, efficiencies, and the work experience of health care providers (the Quadruple Aim). It enables family physicians, family medicine residents, and the teams they work in to undertake QI within their practices and to use practice-level data. Working with partners, it aims to leverage, scale-up, and share existing QI resources and create new ones where there are gaps.

Our partners

The CFPC draws on the skills and expertise of partners, including:
CFPC members and QI champions and experts, CFPC Chapters, departments of family medicine, provincial health quality councils, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College), the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), primary care research networks, and patients and their families.

Pii activities

programs-icon Family medicine residency programs

house-iconPractices and primary care teams

As one of the Pii partners, the residency programs:

  • Identify learning objectives, learning methods, and assessment approaches that support CanMEDS-FM competencies related to QI, data use, and research
  • Develop a guide on the basics of conducting QI and harnessing practice-level data that can be used by family medicine residents, their teachers, and family physicians in general
  • Support curriculum development related to QI, data use, and research
  • Promote QI and research as scholarly activities

In addition to developing the introductory QI workshop "Practice Improvement Essentials (PIE), the teams:

  • Disseminate and promote existing courses, programs, and resources
  • Promote Mainpro+® credits for activities related to QI and the use of practice-level data
  • Advocate for provincial support for practice facilitation programs
  • Promote practice-based research networks (PBRNs) and the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network to support QI and build research capacity
  • Promote collaborations within and across provinces regarding QI in family medicine and primary care


The CFPC launched its Practice Improvement Initiative (Pii) in 2017 to promote quality improvement (QI) in family medicine.

One of the drivers was a request by several Departments of Family Medicine (DFM) for guidance and clarification on how incorporate QI in family medicine curricula as outlined in the CanMEDs-FM 2017 and the Red Book. The other is the need to promote QI as part of everyday practice. Moreover, there is also a need for the CFPC to support its members who are increasingly being required by regulatory bodies to demonstrate ongoing quality improvement work.

To this end, the CFPC conducted an in-depth needs assessment and undertook an environmental scan between February to May 2017 to explore the status of QI in different provinces and territories and to identify existing curricula approaches and programs as well as assess the respective needs, gaps and resources. It emerged that there was considerable variability across the country regarding resources and programs that support QI in primary care. Overall, the scans also identified the need to provide supports for already busy family physicians and their teams to undertake QI.

To address these needs, two streams were developed for Pii. One stream focusses on supporting the DFMs in developing the learning objectives, teaching and assessment methods for QI and Research. The second steam focusses on supporting family physicians in practice by developing an introductory workshop to QI called the Practice Improvement Essentials (PIE).

A Pii Advisory group was established to guide and advise on the overall project and provide input on deliverables of the two streams. The overall goal of the advisory group is to advance the work of the CFPC with respect to QI and Research at the frontlines of care by identifying and making recommendations for the broad and specific competencies in these areas required by family physicians and family medicine residents. It also provides advice on useful learning approaches for QI and Research as well as identify the most useful resources, including manuals, workshops and toolkits, for family physicians and residents.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

Provincial Resources

This section provides an overview of the resources available for QI, research, and practice facilitation.
The CFPC acknowledges that this list is not exhaustive; if you are aware of additional resources,
please contact us at [email protected].

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