Our learning as family doctors, and as humans, is never done. As specialists in primary care, we know family doctors need better tools to support learning and reflection. We need applications that will help us deliver quality care and improve outcomes.
At the Health Data Coalition (HDC), a non-profit that’s driven and governed by physicians, we are working to provide you with just that. It’s why we developed our data sharing application, HDC Discover.
As a family physician, HDC Discover can help you and your team with quality improvement by providing secure access to aggregated clinical data. The tool supports collaborative peer learning to support your practice and improve patient outcomes while maintaining confidentiality for you, your team, and your patients.
Inspiration for EMR Data Learning
I was inspired by the idea of physicians using EMR data for learning and reflection during a trip to Christchurch, New Zealand. The learning from that trip was truly transformative.
We saw family practice groups combining a team-based care approach with the sophisticated use of EMRs and small group peer learning to not only measure progress and improve health outcomes, but to create and sustain a supportive medical community which in turn, was reciprocally supported by their local community. They were able to achieve publishable, trackable patient and population level outcomes based on continuing education interventions and an intrinsic quality improvement drive. In utilizing data from EMRs they were able to save their health care system tens of millions of dollars, which they committed back to their own community for healthcare improvements.
It was amazing to witness. I returned determined to have the same happen in our own province. I found a group of physicians in Prince George that similar ideas and had formed the organization Aggregated Metrics for Clinical Analytics and Research (AMCARE). Concurrently, through Division grassroots support, a number of Division leaders came together and formed the Physician Data Collaborative (PDC) with funding from 25 Divisions across the province. In April 2016, with the additional support of the General Practice Services Committee (FPSC), AMCARE and PDC came together to form the Health Data Coalition.
How HDC Discover Can Help You
There are many opportunities to use HDC Discover to improve your delivery of patient care in everyday practice. The software can help reflect on your own practice in areas such as chronic disease management or medication prescribing. For example, HDC data can graphically represent patients with asthma in a clear and simple fashion, allowing you to compare your own practice with other clinics, communities, and provincially.
As Vice Chair of HDC’s Board I am thrilled to see that after 4 years, this important work continues to be funded and supported by FPSC. Soon, HDC Discover will be available for physicians using MOIS, OSCAR, Intrahealth, and TELUS EMRs, opening up enrolment to the majority of family physicians in BC.
At its core, HDC Discover is a tool to facilitate your own learning, empower the learning of others, and make a measurable, positive difference in the health of our communities. It enables all of us to reclaim our professionalism in having autonomy with demonstrable accountability to the healthcare system and help to achieve the quadruple aim.
I encourage you to enrol with HDC and join those physicians across BC who have committed to continual learning, for life.
Learn more about HDC Discover on our website, hdcbc.ca.
Dr. Shirley Sze MD, CCFP, FCFP
HDC Board of Directors