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In its commitment to ensuring the highest possible level of care for Canadians with cystic fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis Canada has a multipronged approach to quality improvement. Through a number of different initiatives – including funding to support CF teams, an accreditation program for CF clinics, the use of data from the Canadian CF Registry, and a coaching program – Cystic Fibrosis Canada provides direct support to all CF clinics in Canada, which places physicians and other clinicians in the best possible position to care for the CF population.
Clinic Incentive grants are intended to enhance the standard of clinical care available to Canadians with CF, by providing funds to support directly the salaries of nurses and multidisciplinary clinic team personnel, to ensure their availability to the CF population, both locally and at outreach locations. These grants also enable continuing education of staff through attendance at meetings and conferences – ensuring current and comprehensive knowledge of the ever-evolving CF treatments and therapies.
Accreditation Site Visits are part of a peer-review process that provide an opportunity to observe the policies and services being offered at each clinic. This program enables continuous quality control and improvement, while facilitating an exchange of information among healthcare workers, patients and families. Hosting a visit every 4-7 years, clinicians and other team members discuss policies, treatment plans, and administrative processes with peers from other clinics, and in turn receive recommendations for improvements, based on collective, national knowledge.
The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Registry includes annual clinical data on all Canadians with cystic fibrosis. The Registry is used both by CF clinicians and researchers to improve their knowledge of disease patterns and care of patients with cystic fibrosis. Data in the Registry can be used to understand clinic populations better, respond to emerging health care issues, develop targetted quality improvement initiatives and track clinical outcomes over time.
In 2013, Cystic Fibrosis Canada embarked on a major new initiative: the Quality Improvement Program. Using established principles in practice in the United States, France, England, and elsewhere, the Quality Improvement Program helps to develop skills, tools, and methods by which clinical care can be improved. With the use of expert coaching and other evaluative tactics, high-performing clinics will be identified, with a mind to sharing and improving best practices. In collaboration with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in New Hampshire, the first cohort of Canadian CF clinic teams are participating in a year-long collaborative to learn and practice hands-on techniques for tangible improvement results. Participants in the pilot collaborative included clinic teams from Toronto, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Windsor, Hamilton and Quebec City; and in a related initiative, individuals from Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax and Quebec City participated in an intensive course to learn the concepts of coaching.
For more information on Dartmouth’s program, visit www.clinicalmicrosystem.org.