Home > About us > News > Saskatchewan’s Clinical Quality Improvement Program gets high marks in external evaluation
June 7, 2018

Saskatchewan’s Clinical Quality Improvement Program gets high marks in external evaluation

An independent review of the effectiveness of the province’s new QI learning program for clinicians has given it two thumbs up. In her final report, external evaluator Dr. Lois Berry concludes that the Clinical Quality Improvement Program (CQIP) is a “highly valued, well-organized, relevant program that actively engages Saskatchewan physicians in leading the development and implementation of clinical quality improvement projects in their own clinical settings.”

CQIP is a 10-month course that teaches physicians and other health care providers how to build quality improvement into their daily practice, and to facilitate, coach, and teach quality improvement to others. As part of their learning, every clinician carries out an improvement project in their work setting, which is supported by local quality improvement specialists and data/measurement analysts.   Each participant is paired with a physician coach who provides guidance and support throughout the program.  The program is funded through a partnership between the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) and delivered by the Health Quality Council (HQC) with support from the provincial Appropriateness of Care Program.

As part of the external review, Dr. Berry and colleagues interviewed participants, coaches, faculty, and sponsors from the program’s first wave, which ended in October 2017. The evaluation team also reviewed the evidence upon which CQIP is based and the program’s learning materials.

Subjects interviewed during the review particularly appreciated the learning program’s

  • Online modules;
  • Workshop format;
  • Opportunities for networking;
  • Applied nature; and,
  • Support from sponsors and coaches.

The report recommends some changes to CQIP, including:

  • Clarify the role of program coaches;
  • Facilitate more networking among participants; and,
  • Ensure that participants’ improvement teams have the supports and resources they require to succeed.

“The program offered a wide variety of content, centred on evaluating whether change is occurring, working with teams, and working in challenging situations. Overall the content was very good, relevant, with a lot of hands-on advice provided from experienced speakers.”  (CQIP Wave 1 Participant)

All 10 participants who were interviewed said they would recommend the program to a colleague; five reported that they had already done so. Three sponsors from the first wave are already sponsoring participants in the second cohort.

The collaborative spirit behind CQIP, one that is arguably “Saskatchewanian-at-heart”, has not gone unnoticed. As one coach interviewed during the review stated, “We are unique in Saskatchewan. CQIP is a collaborative effort between HQC, the Saskatchewan Medical Association, and the Ministry of Health, all working together in the same direction. I don’t think that could be done in any other province.”

CQIP’s second cohort is currently underway and the third cohort is accepting applications until June 11th, 2018. Interest in the program from clinicians has grown with each subsequent wave.

“The demand we’re seeing suggests there is a growing recognition about the importance of quality improvement in enhancing the performance of physicians, care teams, and the system overall, to deliver better, safer care for patients,” says Shari Furniss, HQC’s Director of Learning and Development.

Dr. Berry is Interim Assistant Vice-Provost Health, University of Saskatchewan; she was assisted by Laurence Thompson, an experienced consultant and program evaluator, and Dr. Cathy Jeffery, a registered nurse and experienced nursing administrator and quality improvement leader.

Read the report to find out more about the review and its findings.