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New Peer Review Program Launching April

Physician Peer Review-Nova Scotia (PPR-NS) program this month. The program, designed to foster quality improvement in practice, fulfills the College’s responsibility to conduct peer review mandated by the Medical Act.

With oversight provided by the College’s public and physician committee members, the program was developed with input from practising physicians, educational experts and regulatory partners.

Reviews are conducted by trained physician peers with a scope of practice matched to the reviewed physician.

“This process will provide the opportunity to have direct peer feedback – which is something physicians rarely have the opportunity to receive. We all strive to do our best, but it’s a privilege to have a knowledgeable colleague sit down and discuss our practice with us,”explained peer review assessor, Dr. Michel Chiasson.

The standard elements of the new program include an on-site review of the physician’s office, together with a review of patient charts and the clinical care provided. In some circumstances, physicians will be offered the option of a more limited off-site practice review with a proportionately greater emphasis on continuing professional development (CPD). A written report is provided to physicians with specific recommendations. The physician also receives one-on-one coaching on strategies to improve their practice.

PPR-NS was piloted among 15 Nova Scotia family physicians in 2016 and aims to review approximately 80 more over the course of 2017. It is anticipated that additional specialties will be launched beginning in 2018.

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College Council Report

At its March meeting, the Council of the College approved the following professional standards and guidelines:

Physicians are expected to stay current with professional standards and guidelines. The complete catalogue of professional standards and guidelines is available any time to all physicians on the College website.

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Clinical Scope of Practice

The College often receives inquiries from physicians regarding matters relating to their scope of practice. Physicians are expected to practise onlywithin a clinical scope of practice for which they are appropriately trained and competent.

Clinical scope of practice can broadly be defined by:

  • the patient population you serve;
  • the range of clinical conditions you manage;
  • the medical procedures you perform; and
  • the clinical environment in which you provide care.

The ability to perform competently in your clinical scope of practice is determined by:

  • knowledge;
  • skills; and
  • judgment developed through training and experience.

The College has developed a document, Change in Clinical Scope of Practice – Frequently Asked Questions to provide direction on such questions as:

  • What duties are considered non-clinical in my scope of practice?
  • Do I need to contact the College every time I make a change to my practice?
  • Is there a time limit on maintaining my clinical scope of practice?
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In Memoriam

Dr. David Abriel was a well-recognized and respected leader in palliative care in the province. Dr. Abriel practised at the Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg for three decades where he distinguished himself as a compassionate and committed physician.

When Dr. Abriel and his wife Heather died in a car accident this past February it stunned not only their south shore community of Mahone Bay, but all of us in every corner of healthcare delivery across the province.  The College wishes to express its sincere condolences to patients, colleagues, family and friends of Dr. David Abriel and Heather.

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The Prescribing Course: Safe Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

  • April 8 in Halifax
  • April 29 in Wolfville
  • June 3 in Membertou

Register Online

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How the College Develops Professional Standards

The College is directed by the Medical Act to establish and promote standards of practice for medicine. We focus our lens on non-clinical matters, giving physicians guidance primarily on ethical and professional concerns.

These guiding documents are developed by the College’s Professional Standards Committee, composed of practising physicians and public members.

In order to support greater transparency of the work of the College, the committee developed the document “How the College Develops Professional Standards of Practice”.

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