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Divisions of Family Practice
Divisions Dispatch
September 6, 2019


In case you missed it: PCN Implementation guide

This summer, in order to provide some key information and guidance for stakeholders involved in creating Primary Care Networks, the GPSC and Ministry of Health compiled an initial Planning and Implementation Guide. It covers a variety of topics including roles and responsibilities, hiring, funding, evaluation, and more. The GPSC is continuing to work together with the Ministry of Health, health authorities, and Doctors of BC to update this content and add resources on an ongoing basis. Plans are in the works to post all the resources online for easy searching and browsing. 
The Implementation Guide is available here on the home page of PCN Toolkit website.  For questions or to provide feedback, please email

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Updated Local Health Area Profiles

The Ministry of Health has announced new Local Health Area (LHA) Profiles.

Each profile includes 86 measures that describe the LHA’s population demographics, health status, social determinants of health, primary care services and access, maternity care, pharmaceuticals, hospital care, surgeries, and mental health. Cross-jurisdictional comparisons are included throughout, presenting provincial context to local health status and utilization measures.

Additionally, select measures are available at the Community Health Service Areas (CHSA) level for more refined community-level analysis within LHAs. For more information about CHSA development, please visit the Ministry of Health Geographies site.

Items of note:

  • The LHA profiles use the new LHA numbers for all LHAs, and new LHA names for LHAs that were recently renamed
  • A separate report is available for each of the 89 LHAs
  • CHSA breakdown is included for select measures
  • All 89 profiles are available in PDF form

For any questions about the reports, please contact

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New online course from DTO and UBC CPD: Information security in private practice

A collaboration between the Doctors Technology Office and UBC CPD, Security in Low Doses: Safeguarding Patient Information in Private Practice is an online course that supports medical clinics in improving their security practices and protecting patients’ personal information. This introductory course is aimed at family physicians, nurse practitioners, medical office managers and assistants, or third parties working in private practice medical clinics.

Participants will learn how to implement basic protective measures, better train their staff, lower the risk of security threats and privacy breaches, and meet basic education requirements for secure access to eHealth viewers offered to private practices in British Columbia.

The course is offered at no charge and can be completed at any time.

Accreditation: Up to 1.0 Mainpro+ credits and a Certificate of Completion.

Register for the course here.

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UpToDate access for transitioning residents changes on September 30, 2019

New GPs who have completed their residencies will have access to the divisions student/resident site, with access to UpToDate, until September 30, 2019. After this date they must access UpToDate through their local Division of Family Practice.

The Community Partnerships & Integration (CPI) team will contact affected residents. Please be aware that individuals may contact you about accessing UpToDate through your division and/or becoming a division member.

Former residents can retain their UpToDate search history and other information by logging into their local divisions website account, connecting to UpToDate with their username and password, and linking their history to their new account. Those who have only accessed UpToDate through the divisions website and have not registered for an UpToDate username and password can register on the divisions student/resident site before September 30, 2019.

For further questions, contact the CPI team.

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New interim guideline for syphilis screening in pregnancy in BC

Effective immediately, BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), Perinatal Service BC (PSBC), and BC Women’s Hospital recommend that all pregnant individuals should have syphilis screening performed at two time points:

  1. During the first trimester of pregnancy or at the first prenatal visit (existing recommendation)
  2. At time of admission for delivery or any time after 35 weeks for those planning home births (new recommendation).

While syphilis screening remains a choice for pregnant patients and opting out is possible, these guidelines are considered the standard of care due to the infectious, yet treatable nature of syphilis.

The new BC Public Health Laboratory Serology Screening Requisition form is available. Physicians should check off Syphilis Antibody (1st Trimester) in the prenatal screening section, and check the box for Perinatal Syphilis for the ‘at delivery’ screen. If using any other requisition, document gestational age.

This interim guideline is anticipated to be in place for approximately one year and will be reviewed as the epidemiology of syphilis in the province evolves.

Click here for more information.

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Registration open for Pain BC’s education and mentorship

Pain BC has launched a three-year pilot project called ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) for chronic pain. With funding from Shared Care, ECHO brings together expert specialist teams with family physicians and other health care providers via video link to provide free sustained mentorship and education.

All health care providers in BC are invited to join this virtual community of practice to connect with other participants and an interdisciplinary team of specialists. The program is free and physician participants will receive CME credits.

ECHO sessions consist of an instructive presentation on participant-identified topics, followed by case presentations from session participants. Providers who participate will directly contribute to improved health outcomes for patients with complex pain and will be able to better support their patients by providing them with improved access to and consistency in pain care in their own communities.

Cycle 2 of ECHO for Pain BC will begin on September 17, 2019.

For more information or to register, visit the Pain BC website or email

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Call for Abstracts for the 2020 JCC Pre-Forum

The Joint Collaborative Committees (JCCs) are inviting abstracts from physicians and teams engaged in JCC quality improvement projects for this year’s JCC Pre-Forum event. The forum will take place on on February 25, 2020, in partnership with the BCPSQC’s Quality Forum on February 26 and 27.

The JCCs are encouraging projects that highlight relationships and connections made—partnerships, teams, networks, wraparound care, communities of practice—that are positively impacting BC’s health care system.

Please note that physicians who attend the JCC event will also be sponsored to attend the two-day Quality Forum.

Presentations can be a rapid fire or storyboard format, or both.

Click here for more details and the abstract form.

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Divisions in the news

August 21, 2019 Provincial Times Colonist Province looks to keep people out of long-term care for longer
September 1, 2019 Provincial Times Colonist Editorial: MDs a vital part of assisted-living reform in B.C.

The provincial communications team produces a twice-monthly newsletter designed to keep divisions up-to-date with the Divisions initiative. It is sent to local division executive directors, administration, physician leads, and board members. In order to minimize emails being sent these groups, we try to include as much in these newsletters as possible. We encourage you to share it with your division members at large. If you have a story you would like to submit for consideration, please contact Caroline McGechaen at

Media coverage is monitored by the Divisions of Family Practice provincial communications team and compiled on the Divisions in the News page.

This issue can also be found on the Divisions of Family Practice website.

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Divisions in the News