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We register physicians


We Register Physicians

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We register physicians


We Register Physicians

 

We review physician education, postgraduate training and, when necessary, arrange assessments to determine whether applicants are ready to practise. Physician qualifications and practice details are reviewed annually. We also monitor mandatory physician enrolment in Continuous
professional Development. 

Every physician practising in Alberta must be registered with the College and have an Alberta medical practice permit. 

Applicants for a practicer permit may be required to undergo a period of supervised assessment before entering independent practice. Practice readiness assessments are coordinated through the Provincial Physician Assessment Program (PPAP), administered by this College. 

All registered physicians who provide direct patient care must also be enrolled in an approved Continuous Professional Development program. 

 
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NEW SPONSORSHIP RULE SUPPORTS
MORE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO CARE

 

Many smaller Alberta communities benefit from recruiting physicians eligible for the Provisional Register Conditional Practice (PRCP). After passing a College-directed period of assessment, these physicians provide much needed, safe patient care while working to fulfil the
requirements of the General Register.

Initially, the opportunity to recruit these physicians was available to a variety of sponsors. As most of these sponsors were recruiting physicians to urban locations, smaller municipalities soon found it much harder to attract PRCP physicians to rural practice. Recognizing the strain this put on rural communities, in
2015 the College introduced a new rule limiting
sponsorship of PRCP physicians to
Alberta Health Services.

What does this do?

It provides AHS with an effective mechanism to place these physicians where they’re needed most, so more Albertans can access the
care they need close to home.

 
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We support continuing comptence


We support continuing competence

We support continuing comptence


We support continuing competence

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Operating outside the disciplinary process of the College, we regularly assess our members against expected competencies and standards, and educate and support them to implement any necessary practice improvements.

 
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IMPROVING OUR APPROACH TO PRACTICE QUALITY

In 2015, the College moved all of its practice quality activities under one administrative umbrella.  Our new Continuing Competence department enables a more holistic approach to ensuring career-long competence and practice quality, based on these principles:

UNIVERSAL

All physicians in Alberta participate and benefit. 

CONFIDENTIAL

Physician information obtained during a competence process is subject to the confidentiality provisions of Sections 52 and 53 of the Health Professions Act. 

SUPPORTIVE

In a continuum from quality improvement through quality assurance, the program ensures physicians meet minimum standards and supports them in striving for excellence.

FLEXIBLE

The approach is based on the needs of the individual. 

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The transition of the Continuing Competence department will continue in 2016, as programs are aligned and integrated into
the new framework.

Learn more about different program areas within Continuing Competence through these brief videos:

 

*Note: The Physician Achievement Review (PAR) Program is undergoing a major review. A new general assessment tool is currently in development.


 

MENTORS SUPPORT PHYSICIANS TO
IMPROVE OPIOID PRESCRIBING

A new approach to helping physicians reduce opioid use by
their patients is showing early success.

Using Triplicate Prescription Program data, the College identifies patients receiving an exceptionally high oral morphine equivalent (OME) for chronic, non-cancer pain and works with the patient’s physician to reduce the amount of opioids prescribed.

We provide mentorship, educational resources and tools to help the physician develop strategies for tapering opioid use while safely managing the care of these complex patients.

The first year of the program has yielded positive results:
all seven physicians who accepted a mentor in 2015 were able to
reduce the opioid use of their patients, on average by 22%.

 

 

BATTLING RX DRUG ABUSE

With the use of benzodiazepine and similar medications (typically used to treat anxiety) on the rise, the College-administered Triplicate Prescription Program started monitoring these prescriptions in 2015.

TPP data helps the College identify high-risk prescribing patterns so we can work with physicians to improve the quality of their prescribingfor safer patient care.

 
 
 
 

Just like their patients, physicians can develop health conditions that affect their ability to work. When they do, they deserve the same care and compassion they provide to others. 

To minimize the impact on their practice, the College encourages physicians, medical students and residents with health conditions to seek medical attention early. 

Watch this short video clip to learn more about the Physician Health Monitoring Program from Dr. Susan Ulan.

 
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We investigate & resolve physician-related complaints


We investigate & resolve physician-related complaints

We investigate & resolve physician-related complaints


We investigate & resolve physician-related complaints

We favour an educational or training approach, 
but apply discipline if necessary.

 

With a focus on patient safety, fairness and opportunities to improve medical practice, the Complaints Director reviews every complaint and determines how to proceed. Options include an informal resolution process, formal investigation or dismissal where there is no or insufficient evidence of professional misconduct. 

Only a small number of complaints that cannot be resolved informally or involve serious allegations of misconduct are referred to a disciplinary hearing. 

 
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We contribute to public policy affecting health care delivery


We contribute to public policy affecting health care delivery

We contribute to public policy affecting health care delivery


We contribute to public policy affecting health care delivery

 

The College welcomes the opportunity to share its views with government and other healthcare partners, and participate in building a strong health care system for Albertans. 

Through our Regional Tour program, committee participation and meetings with government, business and community leaders, the College actively participates in public policy discussions. We are a registered lobbyist with both the provincial and federal governments. 

In 2015, the CPSA Regional Tour visited St. Albert, High Level, Peace River,
Rocky Mountain House and Sylvan Lake. 

We also hosted two "dine and dash" receptions in fall 2015 to introduce
newly-elected MLAs to the work of the College.

 
 

RESPONDING TO THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IN DYING

In 2015, Canadians grappled with the social, regulatory and practical implications of the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to remove physician-assisted dying from the Criminal Code.

The College felt a keen responsibility to provide guidance to our members. We researched how medical assistance in dying is delivered in other jurisdictions, consulted with the provincial government, Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health, other medical regulators, allied health professionals, advocacy groups, our members and the public, and participated in the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group. The insights gained significantly enriched our understanding of this complex issue.

We believe our advice document, published in late 2015 and since updated, will support access to medical assistance in dying for Alberta patients who meet the criteria set by the Supreme Court of Canada, safeguard patients against its inappropriate use and allow those members who conscientiously object to opt out.

It also aligns closely with similar work in other Canadian jurisdictions, and will continue to evolve as the legal environment for medical assistance in dying matures. 

 
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We accredit health facilities


we accredit
health facilities

We accredit health facilities


we accredit
health facilities

 

We inspect facilities using stringent clinical and safety standards, and approve the physicians who work in these facilities. 

Our accreditation program inspects non-hospital facilities providing medical services such as diagnostic imaging, diagnostic laboratory testing and non-hospital surgical services, as well as some hospital-based services under contract with Alberta Health Services. Expert advisory committees ensure physicians have the necessary training and skills to perform specific services in accredited facilities. 

We also monitor diagnostic laboratories through the Alberta Laboratory Quality Enhancement program, and administer the Electrocardiogram Interpretation Examination to physicians who want to provide ECG interpretations as an insured service. 

 
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NEW FRAMEWORK FACILITATES INFORMATION-SHARING WITH AHS FOR NON-HOSPITAL SURGICAL FACILITIES

As accreditor for non-hospital surgical facilities (NHSF) in Alberta, the CPSA monitors the safety and quality of these facilities, some of which have contracts with Alberta Health Services.

To ensure AHS is up-to-date on the accreditation status of contracted NHSF, in 2015 the CPSA contributed to a new governance framework for these facilities. The new framework streamlines incident reporting and enables the CPSA to share accreditation assessment findings and reports with AHS, following review by expert advisory committee. 


 
 

SASKATCHEWAN ADOPTS ALBERTA'S ISQUA-ACCREDITED*
LAB STANDARDS

Our closest eastern neighbour will soon be piloting Alberta’s internationally-accredited diagnostic laboratory standards.

The Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons negotiated use of the CPSA-developed standards through a Memorandum of Agreement under the auspices of the Western Canada Diagnostic Accreditation Alliance.

This collaboration also benefits Alberta, by providing the CPSA with enhanced access to out-of-province assessors for its lab accreditation program.

*International Society for Quality in Healthcare

 

 
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We guide professional conduct and ethical behaviour


We guide professional conduct and ethical behaviour

We guide professional conduct and ethical behaviour


We guide professional conduct and ethical behaviour

 

The CPSA Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and Code of Conduct outline the College's expectations of Alberta physicians.

As members of a self-regulated profession, physicians are accountable for upholding professional codes and standards in all stages of their careers, in all facets of medicine and in all methods of care delivery. Any revisions to these foundational documents require prior consultation with physicians, government and other interested parties. 

The College also helps physicians understand and implement the standards by providing advice on specific topics.

 
 
 

A PATIENT-FOCUSED APPROACH TO CONTINUITY OF CARE

In guiding our members, we welcome other views, both informally and through a formal consultation process. While the scope of input is often wide, in developing and renewing our standards of practice the precept “consider first the well-being of the patient” from our Code of Ethics always focuses the work.

In 2015, we put out for formal consultation an amended standard for Continuity of Care, following up a recommendation by the Health Quality Council of Alberta in its 2013 report of the same name.

This provided an opportunity to engage with our members and to clarify our expectation that they have a system in place to triage patient calls and respond to critical test results after-hours.

The input gathered provided good insight and helped us develop tools to support our members in meeting the standard. The Alberta Medical Association and Health Link have been valuable partners in this work.

Council reissued the Continuity of Care standard in June 2015, and we are committed to ensuring our members meet its intent in the best interest of their patients.

Learn more: Continuity of Care standard of practice