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Divisions of Family Practice
Divisions Dispatch
March 6, 2020


PCN Implementation Launch Day

On March 5, communities who currently have their PCN service plans under review came together to build a path forward with implementation. In attendance were representatives from divisions, local and regional health authority partners, nurse practitioners, First Nations Health Authority, Indigenous partners, GPSC Core, and Ministry of Health and GPSC staff.

Across the topic areas that were discussed, several key themes emerged from discussions, including the reminder of the importance of relationships and partnerships in the success of this work, need for a shared voice across all partners, more realistic pacing expectations for PCN communities, and the importance of continuing to learn from experience and refine processes.
Participants left with increased understanding of tools and resources to help them in this work, appreciation for the opportunity to connect with partners, and optimism that opportunity is ripe for those involved in PCN.

A summary of the event will be distributed in the coming weeks.

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PCNs by the numbers

We regret that the article, “PCNs by the numbers,” published in the previous issue of Divisions Dispatch e-newsletter omitted the Mission Division of Family Practice.

We have corrected the article here

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Important changes to GPSC fees start April 1

As of April 1, 2020, new fee changes will take effect which aim to streamline, clarify, and improve rule consistency.

A summary of the key changes and in-depth information can be found on the GPSC website. GPSC is hosting a webinar for family physicians on Tuesday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m. to walk through the changes and answer questions.

Click here for the webinar registration. 

For questions, please contact GPSC staff for billing support at

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Business Cost Premium incentive payment - information session

BC physicians are encouraged to participate in an information webinar on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. about the Business Cost Premium (BCP), a new incentive payment included in the 2019 Physician Master Agreement (PMA) to help physicians cover the rising rent, lease, or ownership costs of community-based practices. The Business Cost Premium goes live on April 1, 2020 and participating physicians and facilities are encouraged to register prior to this date.

The online session will cover:

  • Which physicians and locations are eligible [*Please note that physicians who are eligible for the Rural Retention Premium are not eligible for the BCP].
  • How to register for and use facility numbers.
  • Required steps physicians must take before April 1.
  • EMR requirements for submitting BCP claims.

Info session date: Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Register online.

The session will be recorded and made available online.

Click here for more information and FAQs. For further questions, please contact

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DTO resources: Using dictation software in medical practices

Attention family physicians who are using a keyboard and mouse for data entry. Research shows that using dictation software to prepare medical records results in more accurate, detailed, and concise documentation. A new resource – Using Dictation Software in Medical Practices – provides support for physicians who are in the process of adopting dictation software or considering making the transition.

A collaborative effort between the Doctors Technology Office (DTO) and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC’s Physician Practice Enhancement Program, the new guide outlines important information including:

  • Benefits of dictation software (with journal references).
  • Types of dictation software.
  • Implementation planning for practices transitioning from a manual system.
  • Questions to ask dictation software vendors when deciding which dictation offering best suits your practice.

While adopting dictation software may require initial set up and ongoing subscription expenses, many practices have found the cost to be outweighed by:

  • Improved patient care enabled by more accurate documentation.
  • More efficient documentation process leading to long-term savings.

Practices who would like assistance with planning dictation software implementation, improving usage of their current system, or engaging with vendors are invited to contact the Doctors Technology Office at

Doctors Technology Office is funded by Doctors of BC and the BC government through the General Practice Services Committee.

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DTO Releases New Forms Guidelines and Best Practices

Creating new forms and updating forms has been a longstanding pain point for physicians, clinic staff, EMR vendors, and form creators. While a provincial eForms project is underway to help address frustrations, the Doctors Technology Office (DTO) has developed an interim Forms Guidelines and Best Practices Guide to assist with creating, editing, and distributing forms. The guide offers recommendations for creating and updating forms, deciding whether or not a form is needed, and how to support the update process.

Click here to learn more about the BC EMR forms strategy and collaborative work to create a provincial electronic forms repository.

DTO is available to provide ongoing support for forms development, and can help connect form producers with the eForms project team and EMR vendors as needed. For questions, guidance, or help on engagement, please reach out to the Doctors Technology Office at

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February GPSC Meeting Summary

Click here to read the February 2020 GPSC Meeting Summary.

Topics include:

  • Community Longitudinal Family Physician (CLFP) Payment
  • Joint JCC Symposium 2020
  • Primary Care Strategy Update
  • Evaluation Task Group Update
  • Team Based Care Working Group Changes
  • Society of General Practitioners Name Change
  • GPSC Meeting Format Change

The GPSC’s next meeting is scheduled for April 8, 2020.

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Registration open for online course on Finding and Creating Joy in Work

The Specialist Services and Shared Care Committees are sponsoring specialists and family physicians to participate in a 12-week online course called “Finding and Creating Joy in Work.” The course will take place from Wednesday, March 11 to Wednesday, June 3, 2020 through the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI).

To register, fill out the application form and email it to Registration is open until March 11, 2020. Please note, signature from the VP of Medicine is not required.

Click here to read an article about last year’s course and click here to learn more about the Joy in Work framework.

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GPSC’s Patient Experience Tool featured in March BCMJ

The GPSC’s Patient Experience Tool supports physician practices to gather patients’ perspectives on the care they receive, and enables practices use this information to inform quality improvement work. The tool is featured in the March issue of the BC Medical Journal. 

Read the article to learn more about how the tool functions, how PSP supports practices to set up and implement the survey, and how results can be used to plan, implement, and measure QI activities.

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Registration open to host a Walk with your Doc event

Walk with your Doc is an annual public health campaign that empowers doctors to encourage and inspire patients to increase physical activity by hosting and leading a walk in their community.

Divisions of Family Practice are an integral part of these public health campaigns and family doctors are invited to join hundreds of other doctors across BC to host a Walk with your Doc event in their community from Saturday, May 9, 2020 to Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Hosts will be provided materials and full support to make the process as easy and fun as possible.

Click here to register and for more information.

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Invitation to participate in BC Guidelines External Review

The Workup of Microscopic Hematuria guideline is available for external review until Friday, March 27, 2020. This guideline deals with investigation of blood on dipstick urine testing and proven microscopic hematuria in adults (age 19 and over).

Visit the BC Guidelines External Review page to download the draft guideline and to submit feedback via the online questionnaire.

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Perinatal Services BC updated forms

Perinatal Services BC (PSBC) will be releasing three updated forms on April 1, 2020.

  1. Antenatal Record (PSBC 1905 + PSBC 1905A)
  2. Triage and Assessment Record (PSBC 1910)
  3. Labour and Birth Summary (PSBC 1920)

The revision of these forms was based on a review of current evidence and ensures alignment with current clinical guidelines, standards, and best practices. 

Over the next two weeks, instructions for ordering resources for education will be disseminated. This information will be posted on the PSBC Forms webpage.

To receive direct emails about PSBC updates and key information, please email

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Patients as Partners Online events calendar

The Patients as Partners Initiative funds and helps coordinate a range of self-management programs, training and education sessions, peer supports, and resources for patients, families, and caregivers. All of these services are free and open to the public and are listed in the Online Activity Calendar.

The new Online Activity Calendar includes several new features:

  • ability to search events or sort events by date, organizer or health authority;
  • integration with Google Maps;
  • information about the Patients as Partners Initiative;
  • profiles of our community partner organizations; and
  • an overview of services for patients, families and caregivers and services for health care providers.

The Online Activity Calendar has replaced the PDF Activity Guide. Please submit any comments, questions, or feedback to

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Invitation to refer patients throughout the Okanagan Valley to participate in clinical trials

Okanagan Clinical Trials (OCT) is encouraging physicians to identify and refer patients who are eligible for, and willing to participate in, the following clinical trials that are currently open for recruitment:

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Alzheimer's Disease and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Adult Autism
  • Narcolepsy

Physicians can refer their patients to the OCT website, and patients can leave their contact information here.

For more information or for family physicians interested in being an investigator, visit the website or email Dr. Kim Christie at

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Information available through Doctors of BC newsletters

For additional information about Doctors of BC news, there are two newsletters that Divisions staff and physicians can subscribe to:

  • In Circulation - This twice-monthly newsletter updates doctors on activities and programs of Doctors of BC.
  • Newsflash - Updates doctors every morning with key medical news of the day.

To be added to the subscription list for either of these newsletters, please contact Patrick Higgins at

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Divisions in the news

Feb 19, 2020 Kootenay Boundary Trail Times New approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay
Feb 20, 2020 Provincial The Daily Courier April update on Westside's call for urgent care centre
Feb 26, 2020 Provincial CBC News 'I felt really stranded': B.C. woman says she struggled to access care after miscarriage
Feb 29, 2020 Vancouver News 1130 New East Vancouver urgent care centre offers alternative to walk-in clinics, ERs
March 2, 2020 Burnaby Burnaby Now Opinion: COVID-19 panic is (sadly) spreading faster than the virus
March 2, 2020 South Okanagan Similkameen Vernon Morning Star High-income tax bracket could deter doctors from settling in South Okanagan, say MLAs

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