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News and Updates

December 5, 2017

Facility Engagement gains traction

Across BC, 67 facilities are now involved in the Facility Engagement Initiative. Of those, 51 physician groups have received full funding to carry out local activities and are in various stages of implementation. Some are setting priorities and initiating activities, while others are building on the successes of early adopters with additional rounds of projects.

As activities gain momentum, a number of stories are emerging that demonstrate physician leadership and successful approaches to achieve medical staff and hospital / health authority collaboration.

For example, at Lion's Gate Hospital, a collaborative effort to transform ER space improved flow and capacity.  In Vernon, physicians set in motion changes to curb unnecessary repeated patient tests.  At Vancouver General Hospital, a record number of physicians participated in disaster preparedness. In Lillooet, physicians initiated a collaborative solution with the health authority and partners to give children and youth greater access to mental health care.  Read more about these stories and others here > 

If you have stories to share, please forward details to or to your Facility Engagement Lead (FEL). 

What are the other sites doing?

KNOWLEDGE SHARING:  The first robust collection of activities, information and insights from participating facilities across BC will soon be available for sharing among sites, thanks to physician societies/MSAs that submitted a Site Activity and Engagement Tracker (SEAT). The SSC has developed a searchable, online database that brings together activities from across the province into one accessible, online location. Sites will receive information with access instructions soon. Stay tuned.

SITE ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY TRACKER (SEAT) IMPROVEMENTS are also in the works that will make SEAT submissions easier for sites, including a new, online submission form (with previous entries already uploaded). More information to come by e-mail in the near future.

Note! The deadline to submit SEAT information for the third quarter of 2017/18 has been extended to JANUARY 31, 2018.

Physicians share experiences and perspectives

This fall, 26 physicians from 15 Lower Mainland sites came together to network and share experiences, resources, challenges, risks, pitfalls, and successful approaches related to Facility Engagement. The discussion is summarized in a document that is now available as a learning tool for all sites. Some insights include:

Successes: Increased MSA attendance, having physicians reconnect to their hospital in a meaningful way (after many years in some cases), a more positive and optimistic mood, improved working relationships with the health authority (HA)  who are no longer viewed “as the other side," HA realizing  they cannot do projects like QI without physician input. 

Challenges: Trying to get physicians involved in the initiative, attendance, physician burnout, some mistrust, moving activities to the next step and the bigger system priorities, 'collaborative engagement.'

Effective physician engagement activities: Arranging quality social events, sharing engagement stories, hospital display boards, having healthy snacks, giving physicians opportunities to interact with each other, linking groups to  coordinate ideas, develop relationships and common understanding.   

Commonly expressed engagement motivators: Consulting physicians about what is important to them, what they value, appealing to a higher purpose, giving physicians a place to say something, meaningful takeaway messages, CME credits, food.

Effective health authority (HA) engagement activities HA representatives on the agenda, HAs come to the table to review MSA plans and hear organizational plans, talking with HA early in project applications, ensuring strong terms of reference, having a succession plan for executives (physicians & HA), following the Division lead on collaborative communication – Collaborative Services Committee (“CSC”).

 More insights from this document are posted under “Engagement Resources” here >

Additional perspectives from across the province will be shared when available, including from events that bring together physicians and health authorities.

Engagement reading resources

Increasing Physician Engagement: A Literature Review: A summary of evidence prepared by the UBC evaluation team describes practices, processes or approaches to increasing physician engagement in the context of the FE Initiative and the MOU. 

A Blueprint for Physician Leadership in Transforming Canada's Health Care System:  Stimulating dialogue and action: the central role of physicians in planning and implementing change.

Incomplete Guide to Physician Engagement in Quality Improvement: Some handy tips for engaging busy physicians.

Successful Strategies in Physician Engagement - Jim Pattison Outpatient Centre:  One example of a successful physician engagement approach at a new health care facility.

Do you have helpful engagement resources / literature to share? Please send to for posting. 

FEMS quick tips 2

CLAIMS:  DID YOU KNOW...? Claims should be submitted directly by the FEMS physician member(s) working on an engagement activity, not the Physician Society/ MSA Administrator if possible. 

Why?  When entering a claim, FEMs sometimes asks physicians for feedback about their Facility Engagement activity, and responses to these questions are required to successfully submit the claim. Getting first-hand feedback from the physician's perspective is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative. Feedback is anonymized prior to being disclosed to the evaluation team at the University of British Columbia. If you have any questions, please contact:

REGISTRATION TIP: When registering for FEMS, make sure you select your User Type based on your College Sub-Class.  If you’re unsure of your College Sub-Class, please visit the College of Physicians and Surgeons website:

Provincial Evaluation

Thank you to sites and physicians who have participated in the provincial evaluation interviews and case studies to date. The Facility Engagement team, along with the UBC evaluation team, are also working to gather greater input about the initiative's progress from local and regional health authority leaders.  The purpose is to capture insights into health authority leaders’ perspectives and attitudes about the Facility Engagement Initiative. 

July 17, 2017

Strengthening the Voice of Physicians through Facility Engagement

The provincial Facility Engagement Initiative is in full swing. It aims to strengthen communication and relationships between hospital-based physicians and health authorities; so they can solve problems, and improve patient care and the physician work environment.  So how is it going?  

Early emerging examples are demonstrating how physicians and health authorities are interacting through Facility Engagement to make sustainable improvements.  At the Victoria General Hospital, a group of gastroenterologists identified a priority to schedule endoscopic (ERCP) procedures in a more efficient and effective way. In the past, there would have been significant roadblocks to this kind of change as it would involve adjusting staffing practices, hospital room allocation and more.

The project’s physician lead, Dr. Denis Petrunia, reported that Facility Engagement funding facilitated getting all of the physicians impacted by previous ERCP booking model to attend initial discussion and planning meetings. As a result, members of the administration became aware of the complex issues and were then motivated to support the changes recommended. The groups organized a series of meetings to discuss how to reorganize the ERCP scheduling.  Changes in scheduling practices for weekday procedures have now been successfully implemented, and the group is in the process of evaluating the outcomes and cost savings over the next few months.   

Since the fall of 2016, interest and involvement in the Facility Engagement Initiative has grown rapidly. Forty-three of the 60 hospital sites involved to date have are prioritizing issues, making steps towards working with their health authority to establish local strategies, and have received funding to carry out activities.

This level of involvement is significant. For first time in BC, the medical staff working at 43 hospitals are being asked about their priorities, and now have the time, resources, and a formal structure in place through which to express their views and be heard.

At a standing-room only MSA meeting at Vancouver General Hospital, 120-plus physicians showed up to learn about the Vancouver Physician Staff Association Facility Engagement plans and request for priorities, which resulted in 36 project proposals. Other sites are also seeing enthusiastic responses from the medical staff, who are voicing priorities that range from solving challenges in clinical areas and gaps in communication, to improving physician health and care delivery for patients. In some cases, Facility Engagement is bringing together physicians who have been disconnected for years, and energizing medical staff associations to be more active and unified.  

As Facility Engagement gains traction across the province, other examples are illustrating how physicians are influencing decisions that affect them and their patients, and collaborating locally with their site administration and health authority. It will take time to shift and improve communication, and build stronger collaborative relationships between the groups, but early progress is positive. Stay tuned.

Facility Engagement is an initiative of the Specialist Services Committee, one of four joint collaborative committees that represent a partnership of the Government of BC and Doctors of BC. 

May 2, 2017

22 More Facilities Move Forward with Funding

In March 2017, the Specialist Service Committee’s Facility Engagement Working Group approved funding for the following sites:

•    Surrey Memorial Hospital
•    Children’s and Women’s Hospital
•    Mission Memorial Hospital
•    Langley Memorial Hospital
•    Ridge Meadows Hospital & Health Care Centre
•    Powell River General Hospital
•    Tofino General Hospital
•    Campbell River District General Hospital
•    Lady Minto Gulf Islands Hospital
•    Port McNeill and District Hospital and Port Hardy Hospital
•    Mills Memorial Hospital
•    Lillooet Hospital
•    Boundary Hospital
•    Kootenay Lake Hospital
•    Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre
•    Wrinch Memorial Hospital
•    South Okanagan General Hospital
•    Shuswap Lake General Hospital
•    Golden & District Hospital
•    Queen Victoria Hospital
•    Elk Valley Hospital
•    Princeton General Hospital

With all proposals to date, physician leads have been enthusiastic to have the views of the medical staff effectively represented, and to have opportunities to identify and prioritize issues and solutions – all while improving working relationships and communication with their colleagues, health authorities and site administrators. Early examples of activities and progress will be shared soon as the work gets underway.

Facility Engagement Provincial Evaluation

A team of researchers from UBC has come together to evaluate the Facility Engagement Initiative and the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Regional and Local Engagement (MOU).  The provincial evaluation will:

•    take place from now to early 2019;
•    provide real time feedback about the implementation of the initiative which can be used for immediate improvements;
•    gather evidence to understand and measure the success of Facility Engagement activities; and
•    provide accountability to all stakeholders.

Physician societies and health authorities will receive a package of information shortly outlining when and how to participate in the provincial evaluation.  Read more here >

Mar 6, 2017

New sessional rates for physicians

Physician sessional rates are increasing. Please keep these in mind as you budget your activities.

There will be two increases this year:

  1. The rates will increase by 0.35% on February 1, 2017 as per the Economic Stability Mandate.
  2. The rates will increase again by 0.5% on April 1, 2017 as per the Physician Master Agreement.
More facilities moving forward

Congratulations to the following facilities who were recently approved for full funding by the Facility Engagement Working Group.
December 2016
·         Providence Health Care Physicians and Surgeons Association
·         South Island Facility Engagement Initiative Society (Royal Jubilee and Victoria General Hospitals)
·         KGH Physicians Society (Kelowna General Hospital)
February 2017
·         Lions Gate Hospital Physician Society
·         Penticton Physician Medical Society
·         BCCA Medical Staff Engagement Society  (BC Cancer Agency)
·         EKRH Medical Staff Society (East Kootenay Regional Hospital)
·         Kootenay Boundary Physicians Association
·         Richmond Hospital Physician Society

Leadership Strategies for Physician and Health Authority Leaders

In collaboration with the Provincial Medical Services Executive Council’s Working Group for Physician Engagement, an accredited course was held on January 24, 2017 in Vancouver for Health Authority leaders to gain a better insight into the provincial Facility Engagement Initiative and to identify challenges and strategies for the moving the initiative forward within the local context . All Health Authorities and the Ministry of Health were represented.  Two similiarly-structured accredited courses were held for physicians in 2016.

The course provided an overview of best practices for effective physician engagement, and helped participants develop strategies for implementation.  Group breakout sessions focused on the research which highlights the value of physician engagement, and the importance of incorporating physician engagement into strategic planning, operational plans and regional plans. In addition, next steps were discussed to move forward with ideas.

Feedback collected from the participants and sessions revealed a common interests, such as better communication strategies, clear objectives and perspectives.  Participants expressed interest and enthusiasm in a future education course involving physicians and health authority leaders to further work on relationships and skills together. 

For more information, please contact

Jan 27, 2017

Full speed ahead: Facilities approved for full funding

Congratulations to the following facilities that have been approved for full funding at Facility Engagement Working Group Meetings.

  • Vancouver Physician Staff Association
  • Peace Arch Hospital Physician Society
  • Nanaimo Medical Staff Engagement Society  
  • Saanich Peninsula Physician Society  
  • Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre Physician Engagement Society
  • Vernon Jubilee Hospital Physician Society, Vernon Jubilee Hospital
  • Prince George Medical Staff Physician Association, University Hospital of Northern BC
  • Burnaby Hospital Medical Staff Physician Society
  • Royal Inland Hospital Physician Association
  • Royal Columbian and Eagle Ridge Hospital Medical Staff Society
  • Cowichan District Medical Society, Cowichan District Hospital  

Helpful steps forward

The successful sites, which represent a mix of community and tertiary hospitals, presented their funds readiness checklists with progress and plans to date, and shared some experiences from their startup phase. Here are some insights shared for those in the process of preparing for funding applications:

  • Get  representation from each department on the Working Group
  • Focus  on enhancing and/or developing relationships while identifying suitable activities 
  • Encourage  any medical staff to come to a meeting
  • Engage with primary care doctors and Division of Family Practice (where appropriate) to tap into existing relationships
  • Hold regular meetings/discussions with the Health Authority
  • Get  ideas and input from members about their concerns and ideas to focus strategies and efforts at engagement events

Thank you to these sites for their insights, hard work and successful efforts to date. We look forward to more facilities coming forward in the months to come with proposals for full funding. For support, contact your Facility Engagement Liaison.

Sept 7, 2016

Changes to the Societies Act of BC

Changes to the Societies Act of BC take effect on November 28, 2016. How will those changes impact societies involved in the Facility Engagement Initiative?

  •  If you are not incorporated and will not be incorporated until after November 28, 2016 – changes will not apply.
  •  If you are incorporated or will be incorporated before November 28, 2016 – you will need to transition to the updated Act.

The provincial office is issuing customized instructions to all impacted sites.  The Facility Engagement Leads can answer questions and offer further support. We’re working hard to make the transition as painless as possible, so societies can get on with planning local activities.

UBC comes on board for Evaluation

We’re pleased to announce that the University of British Columbia (UBC) has been contracted to evaluate the process, outcomes and cost relative to benefit of the Facility Engagement initiative at the provincial level. The UBC Evaluation Team will gather information (anonymized and aggregated) from participating facilities to identify ongoing improvements to the initiative, and to assess its success in improving physician engagement in facilities. Information will be gathered in several ways including:  

  • reporting captured through the Facility Engagement Management System;
  • occasional surveys and select in-person interviews; and
  • case studies at some sites.

When the UBC team rolls out the evaluation tools this fall, their team members may be in touch directly with participating physicians and other stakeholders to seek valuable input. Facility Engagement Leads can answer questions about the evaluation, or you may contact Jennifer Barr at: or by phone at 778-984-2064.

The Facility Engagement Management System is coming

This fall, a number of physician societies across BC will receive full funding to start on local projects. That’s when the Facility Engagement Management System comes in. The online management tool, (formerly known as the ‘Bayleaf App’) will support local facility engagement work.  A society’s administration team can use the desktop version to manage and track funding and activities, and report on evaluation measures. A companion smart phone app will make it easy for participating physicians to submit and track sessional claims. Thanks to all physicians who are supporting the development of this tool through consultations and user testing.  We’ll keep you posted about its availability in the fall.

Communicate to build engagement

Regular communications can help attract physicians and health authority participants to become involved in local activities. The first step to communicating is to create understanding and awareness about the facility engagement initiative and your local activities, as a way to set expectations and raise interest among potential participants at your site.  To support this phase of communications, general guidelines and an example of a plan have been developed that you may wish to customize for your local needs. Download them here.

We look forward to an exciting fall ahead, and seeing the physician societies and health authority engagement activities continue to grow and take shape at your local sites.

Jun 20, 2016

Gearing up for full funding

Gearing up for full funding. Many engagement Working Groups are working through the Fund Readiness Checklist and are hoping to be ready for full funding by the fall. The Facility Engagement Leads are prepared with templates, ideas and connections for physicians and Health Authority leaders, so please stay in touch.

Looking for help? Job description templates for assistants, coordinators and managers are available for MSA Working Groups hiring sub-committees. Please feel free to take advantage of these tools and use them as a starting point. They are customizable for a facility's particular needs.

Bringing everyone together. The inaugural meeting of the Physician Engagement Working Group was held last week. This group represents all of the Health Authorities party to the Memorandum of Understanding on Local and Regional Engagement. The group is working together on the application, interpretation, as well as tracking progress of implementation of the MOU.

Secure texting. Physician connectivity and secure texting is a topic we hear a lot about. See “Lessons Learned” for a few hints and tips from the secure texting project at Lions Gate.

Thanks for helping with the app. A big thank you to all of you for helping us build the Bayleaf business solution – the online system to help MSA’s manage the finances, and save time when submitting claims. A number of physicians from MSA’s and Health Authority reps from around the province are helping us define, build and refine the app.  Your tough questions are helping us immeasurably. To learn more about the Bayleaf system, please click here.

May 4, 2016

Crucial business solution for you

In response for the need to streamline physician payments, manage budgets, report and evaluate the Facility Engagement Initiative. Bayleaf Solutions has begun to build the business solution "app”.

Current expectations are that the first version will ready by the end of May. We are seeking start-up engagement societies to help refine the system. If you or other  members have an interest in technology and an understanding of finance, please encourage them to help us test the app. Expect five hours of commitment over the next month. Click here if you are interested in being part of the first “sprint”.

Evaluation framework approved

We are seeking physicians for a  panel. An exceptional team of investigators will be evaluating the facility engagement initiative over the next three years. Chris Lovato, Craig Mitton and Jean-Louis Denis are leading the team with a star-studded advisory panel to guide the way. We are seeking physicians who are keen on evaluation to act as our expert panel. Expect 10 – 15 hours of commitment over the next 6 – 12 months. Click here if interested.

Evaluation Framework.

Inclusion of all voices on the medical staff

With a view to taking a leadership role and including all voices on the medical staff, the Specialists Services Committee has offered clarity on how and when to include the non-physician voices in this initiative. More information to better understand the many ways to include dentists, nurse practitioners, midwives and podiatrists.