Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Update - Limited Time Offer

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Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Update - Limited Time Offer


Quality Improvement and Leadership Training

Interested in networking and learning new skills, all while making it easier for you and your team to provide high-quality patient care? Then I suggest you look no further than the Clinical Quality Improvement Program (CQIP).

CQIP is a fantastic 10-month program that teaches improvement science and leadership skills to clinicians through online learning and face-to-face workshops. Participants of the program are supported to create and implement a Quality Improvement (QI) project related to their area of practice, and are given access to coaches, local and international experts, and data analysts. Participating physicians also receive remuneration for their time and travel.

I've been learning about and practicing QI in Saskatchewan and beyond for almost my entire medical career. One of my best QI learning experiences was being a faculty member and coach with CQIP, a partnership between the Health Quality Council, the Saskatchewan Medical Association and the Ministry of Health.

We all know about the importance of appropriate antimicrobial usage. But did you know that up to 30 per cent of all antimicrobials prescribed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) could be inappropriate? As part of his CQIP project last year, Dr. Shaqil Peermohammed, an Infectious Disease specialist, tested the impact of Antibiotic Stewardship Rounds at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. Shaqil and Justin Kosar, a pharmacist, met with the ICU team three times a week to review and discuss all the ICU patients receiving antimicrobial therapy. Over a 12-month period, 327 patients were reviewed and 270 recommendations were made. Ninety-one per cent of all their recommendations were accepted, resulting in a 19.6 per cent reduction in the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials, and a 21.4 per cent reduction in the use of anti-pseudomonal antimicrobials.

I could tell a great story of learning and system improvement about each of the 15 doctors who graduated from CQIP last year. Like Dr. Erin Hamilton, a family physician in North Battleford, who significantly increased the number of HIV tests completed for patients seeking care in a walk-in clinic; Dr. Marcie Heggie, a family physician in Yorkton, who improved the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease exacerbations in an emergency room setting by linking acutely ill patients to outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programs and services; and Dr. Hennie Rees, who created a subspecialty model for breast pathology in Saskatoon. Then there's Dr. Chantall Ansell, a family physician at the University of Saskatchewan Student Health Clinic, and Dr. Senthil Damodharan, a psychiatrist in Regina, who each worked to improve access to mental health care for children and young adults seeking psychiatric care.

I get so energized and inspired when I listen to and learn from people who have discovered the power and joy of QI science. My own leadership journey can clearly be traced back to my early residency when I discovered the power of QI during my anesthesiology training at the University of Saskatchewan. Drs. David Johnson and Jaime Pinilla showed me that by measuring and monitoring what happens during the care of ICU patients, we have a better understanding of what works and what doesn't.

Even better, quality improvement science has an entire toolbox of evidence-based methods we can use to apply small tests of change that, over time, can add up to improved care and outcomes for our patients. For more than 20 years, I have read books and journals, participated in local and provincial improvement teams, and presented at workshops and conferences in Canada and internationally.

And I'm not alone: all five of our Physician Executives with the Saskatchewan Health Authority have QI experience and training. QI is increasingly being recognized as a core competency for Canadian physicians.

Last year, 15 Saskatchewan doctors were part of the CQIP's first cohort. This year's second cohort includes 20 physicians and two pharmacists who are almost halfway through the course. The deadline to apply for Cohort 3, beginning in the fall, is June 11, 2018.

Click here for the CQIP Application Form and Guide or contact with your questions.

If you have questions, comments or ideas for me, email me anytime at

Reproduced from an e-mail sent on May 10, 2018 from Dr. Susan Shaw, Chief Medical Officer