Registrar’s message – new assessment standards for the Physician Practice Enhancement Program

For physicians in clinical practice, there is a no shortage of documentation outlining best practices. The guidance can vary, or be buried in volumes of literature, making pertinent information about practice standards difficult to find and onerous to read.

The Physician Practice Enhancement Program is currently in the process of developing assessment standards for community-based physicians in BC who participate in the program to clarify ambiguity around best practices, and make it easier to understand the criteria used by assessors during the course of an assessment. 

The primary goals in developing the standards are to document best practices, requirements and recommendations expected by the College; make information more accessible; make the implementation process easier; and promote consistency across community-based practices 

The standards do not contain new information; they cover aspects of practice such as infection prevention and control, patient safety, staff safety, emergency preparedness, and sharps safety. 

Standards currently in development cover these topics:

  • emergency preparedness
  • infection prevention and control fundamentals
  • medical device reprocessing
  • hand hygiene
  • personal protective equipment
  • vaccine and medication
  • sharps safety
  • blood and body fluid exposure control plan
  • medical director
  • cumulative patient profile
  • soiled linen
  • waste
  • lab specimens

The development of assessment standards is comprehensive, beginning with an extensive review of existing provincial, national and international standards from organizations such as the BC Ministry of Health, the Canadian Standards Association, and centers for disease control. Once the information is compiled into a draft, it is reviewed by the Physician Practice Enhancement Panel, before being distributed to subject matter and technical experts, health partners, and registrants (on a rolling basis) for consultation. 

The College will begin the gradual release of the assessment standards in the fall of this year. The standards will be published on the PPEP section of the College website and communicated to targeted groups of physicians by email, and more widely through the College Connector.

Registrant feedback has been extremely valuable during the development of these standards. Should you receive a request to provide input on the new standards, I encourage you to participate.

Heidi M. Oetter, MD
Registrar and CEO

We welcome your feedback on any article contained in the College Connector.