Media is often attracted to the bad-news stories, especially in the area of health care, so it is important to highlight the noteworthy work being done by physicians on the front lines—work that not enough people know about.
In BC physicians are emerging as leaders of positive change through our collaborative programs, which are delivered through the Joint Collaborative Committees (JCCs). Through funding negotiated in the Physician Master Agreement, the JCCs are the vehicle through which Doctors of BC and the provincial government, along with health authorities, are working together to develop innovations to enhance quality patient care, strengthen physician satisfaction, and build a stronger health care system.
Four committees make up the JCCs and comprise physicians, government, and health authority representatives. Each committee focuses on a specific area: primary care (General Practice Services Committee), specialist care (Specialist Services Committee), rural care (Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues), and coordination of care between primary and specialist care (Shared Care Committee).
Work by the Divisions of Family Practice (family physicians) continues to address local community needs, while our new Medical Staff Associations (facilities-based physicians) focus on physicians working in facilities. All are under the umbrella of the JCCs.
A unique aspect of the partnership is that funding decisions for each committee are made jointly by physicians, government, and health authority representatives. This means that we, as physicians, get to play a key decision-making role in defining and implementing solutions to problems we experience on the front lines of medicine. It means we have the ability to effect real and lasting change for our patients and for the health care system as a whole. It also means we are a national leader in this collaborative approach.
This is why, for the first time and in partnership with the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council, the JCCs are holding a combined showcase event in February that speaks to the positive outcomes of our collaborative work. There will be numerous presentations and interactive workshops on topics such as seniors care, child and youth mental health, surgical improvements, maternity care, polypharmacy, and more.
We will exchange lessons learned, our challenges, and our successes so that everyone—physicians, health authorities, government, and other health care professionals—can learn from each other and share best practices in our own regions of the province.
Over the last decade the JCCs have helped to improve patient care and costs of care, enhance physicians’ self-worth and professional self-esteem, and increase overall professional influence.
I think we can agree that collaboration thus far—among our profession, with our patients, with government/health authorities, and with other health care professionals—has been the best way to drive positive health care change.
Thank you to those of you who are already engaged with one of our committees or through the Divisions of Family Practice and Medical Staff Associations. I encourage others to get involved. Engaged physicians are in the best position to make a real difference for patients, for the profession, and for the health care system as a whole. Let’s all take up that challenge as we move into a new year.
Join us at the JCC Showcase in Vancouver on 24 to 26 February 2016; I especially encourage our young physicians, who are just starting out, to take part. For more information on the showcase and to register (space is limited), visit http://qualityforum.ca/pre-forum-sessions/joint-collaborative-committees-showcase. To learn more about the Joint Collaborative Committees, visit http://www.doctorsofbc.ca/working-change.
—Charles Webb, MBChB
Doctors of BC President
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