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The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), Health Quality Ontario, and Réseau-1 Québec co-hosted the Canadian Invitational Quality Improvement Symposium in Mississauga, Ontario, September 24 to 25, 2018. This two-day conference brought together key stakeholders and leaders in family medicine quality improvement (QI) from across Canada, leaders from the United States and Sweden, and patient representatives. The first day consisted of a family medicine residency stream, a family practice facilitation stream, and a combined session on QI courses and programs across Canada. The second day consisted of a National QI Symposium.

Key Messages: Family medicine residency programs

  • Residents should be provided with some introductory knowledge and some basic QI skills to help them when they go into practice
  • There are learning methods that allow these competencies to be introduced without adding much burden to residents and teachers
  • There are some successful QI education programs in which family medicine teachers and residents learn about QI together

Key Messages: Family practice facilitation support

  • There is evidence that practice facilitator programs result in practice improvements in primary care
  • Practice facilitation programs offer a significant return-on-investment (ROI), and the capacity built can support future initiatives
  • Provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec have invested in practice facilitator programs to support family physicians and the teams they work in

Key Messages: National Symposium

  • QI provides tools, ranging from simple easy-to-use approaches to sophisticated methods, to help family physicians and their teams improve the care they provide and improve their own work experience
  • QI is a core activity within everyday practice and within the role of being a family physician. However, support and resources are needed.
  • Electronic medical record (EMR) data provide a rich source of information to guide practice improvement. However, they need to be accessible in report form to family physicians and teams; resources are needed to help teams analyze them.
  • Patient representatives at the meeting highlighted the importance of QI and the need to include patients in QI activities that affect patient care
  • New partnerships have been forged within and across provinces, including closer collaboration between CFPC Chapters, provincial organizations and ministries, and departments of family medicine
  • There is a need for increased, targeted advocacy efforts to regional, provincial, and federal policy-makers for resources to support QI in family medicine and primary care


For questions or additional information, please contact [email protected]

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