The Ottawa Practice Enhancement Network (OPEN) is an initiative that aims to establish the optimal approach to support primary care practices in achieving their Quality Improvement (QI) goals. It is structured as a Learning Collaborative which allows its members to learn from each other’s experience and expertise. OPEN offers its members training on QI fundamentals to build internal capacity. It provides practices with tailored reports from their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) data to identify care gaps, identify target populations, and track progress over time. It also offers evidence-based solutions to address the gap(s) prioritized, and facilitation support to implement the approach selected. Its grassroots approach means that the practices themselves are involved in selecting the quality indicator gap they wish to address and can focus efforts to make improvements that meet their own specific needs.
OPEN has completed the practice recruitment for its first phase and will soon move into phase two of recruitment. OPEN is seeking practices working under different models, including family health groups, family health organizations, family health teams, and community health centers. Is your practice interested in participating in OPEN? Read the Letter of Information for details, and contact Darene Toal-Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to determine eligibility and answer any questions.
On July 11, 2019, OPEN hosted its first Learning Collaborative Workshop which was attended by members of 8 OPEN practices, ranging in geography from central Ottawa to Pembroke, and 2 Quality Improvement Decision Support Specialists (QIDSS). With guidance from the OPEN team and QI experts, the participating practices will next 1) select their target quality area to be addressed and 2) choose and implement an evidence-informed strategy to address that priority.
So, how does OPEN work?
OPEN uses multiple Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to support primary care practices in their QI goals.
- OPEN provides practices with clean, standardized EMR data to inform QI prioritization. Building on the work of CPCSSN (Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network), OPEN extracts EMR data using standardized and validated software algorithms. The study team members, practices, health planners and patients review the EMR feedback report together and identify the areas of practice they wish to address. OPEN can assist providers identify targeted individuals based on selected priority gap.
- OPEN researchers identify evidence-informed strategies to address priority gaps. These strategies rely on organizational changes, and are feasible with minimal disruption and costs. The practices select the approach that is most suited to their context. They may choose to implement different approaches to achieve the same goal.
- Practices are supported to implement evidence informed strategies of their choice. This is guided by experienced researchers and QI practice facilitators (PFr).
- OPEN helps to assess progress and provides periodic progress reports based on EMR. These reports will be reviewed by the research team to assess the impact of the approach to meet the QI objectives.
- Support is provided to adapt the strategy to respond to practice needs. The research team, in collaboration with health planners, providers and PFr, will conduct rapid cycle evaluations to determine the potential to meet the QI objective, and adapt the approach, if necessary, to achieve the goal in each practice. This uses several successive Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to optimize the likelihood of impact.
Opportunities for Family Medicine residents
Are you interested in receiving EMR data for a QI project or your FMRSP? Contact Darene Toal-Sullivan (email@example.com) for more information.