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CQIP participants discuss projects on COPD, child psychiatry

HQC Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2017 11:29 AM

In January 2017, 16 Saskatchewan doctors became the first participants in the new Clinical Quality Improvement Program (CQIP), which was launched by the Health Quality Council (HQC) in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) and the provincial Ministry of Health. CQIP is an 11-month course designed to build capability for facilitating and leading successful health care improvement work in Saskatchewan. The program includes a mix of theory and experiential learning, along with individual coaching and a community of practice for physicians actively working in a clinical context.

CQIP is a sister program to the internationally recognized mini-Advanced Training Program, which was developed by Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its content has been adapted by HQC for the Saskatchewan health care system. CQIP is accredited through both the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

As CQIP continues through to November 2017, HQC will share information about the participants’ projects. Here, two participants from two health regions – Dr. Marcie Heggie, from Sunrise Health Region, and Dr. Senthil Damodharan, from Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region – answer questions about their projects and about quality improvement in health care.


Dr. Marcie Heggie, Sunrise Health Region

Q: What is your project about?

A: I will be focusing on how to reduce frequency of patient visits to the ER for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) exacerbations. To achieve this, I hope to implement a treatment protocol that will ensure that patients will get multiple facets of COPD management addressed on one ER visit and hopefully negate further exacerbations. 

Q: What does quality improvement mean to you?

A: It means improving efficiency and avoiding redundancy within our health care system. It means patients getting the quality care they need according to best practice policies and avoiding unnecessary investigations.

Q: Why is quality improvement important for physicians and other health care professionals?

A: I think it’s easy for anyone to become complacent with their “usual routine” and yet, if health care professionals as a collective strive to improve our own day-to-day activities, it can lead to huge improvements and innovations to health care as a whole. 


Dr. Senthil Damodharan, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region

Q: What is your project about?

A: (It is about) improving access for specialist medical consultation for children and youth with developmental/behavioural/emotional difficulties, (and) collaboration between pediatricians and child psychiatrists. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, I wish to contribute to a system which can harness all the available resources within the medical field to support optimal development of children and youth, in collaboration with wider services and programs in the health and related human services, so that these vulnerable children and youth can realize their fullest potential as adults.

Q: What does quality improvement mean to you?

A: (Having a) QI perspective challenges the received wisdom and assumptions I have/had and forces me to think about methods and processes to deliver safe, high-quality, accessible, equitable, and sustainable patient-centred care through multi-disciplinary teams.

Q: Why is quality improvement important for physicians and other health care professionals?

A: QI enables an attitude of humility and life-long learning, in order to expand our understanding of the design, orientation, methods, and processes involved in the many multi-layered and interactive health and related human services.

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