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A dynamic duo: PPIP and CPSA’s Standards of Practice

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May Messenger 2024 | Posted May 9, 2024
Read time: 2 minutes

Some tips to help you complete one of your three required activities

CPSA’s Physician Practice Improvement Program (PPIP) requires physicians to complete three improvement activities at least once during a five-year cycle. One of the three required activities is a quality improvement activity based on CPSA’s Standards of Practice.

Our standards are the minimum standards of professionalism and ethics CPSA expects from those practising medicine in Alberta. While most physicians are aware of the standards, some have difficulty relating them directly to their practice. This is where we can help!

Why are the standards of practice a required part of PPIP?

Being compliant with CPSA’s standards doesn’t mean just knowing what they are. It also means being able to critically assess whether there are any gaps in how you apply the standards to your practice.

How can I create an improvement project using the standards of practice?

  • Start by reviewing one of the standards of practice in depth (a full list of CPSA’s standards can be found on our website). Choose a standard that is relevant to you and your practice. Then reflect on whether your practice is consistent with the expectations of the standard, and identify areas for improvement.
    • One physician opted to focus on the Patient Record Content standard, then reviewed patient charts to ensure more through and prompt documentation of health context information.
    • Another chose the Referral Consultation standard and identified an opportunity to work towards reducing the time between seeing a patient and sending the consultation note to the referring physician.
    • You could also review the Continuity of Care standard to determine how to respond to clinically important results when they are received after the patient has left the emergency department, walk-in clinic or urgent care.
  • While not required, we recommend reviewing your findings with a colleague, direct supervisor, formal facilitator or trained coach, to provide objective viewpoints and advice.
  • Create an action plan to document your opportunities for improvement and how you will implement them. Not sure how to create an action plan? Use our template.

Does CPSA have any tools we can use to complete this PPIP activity?

Why yes, we do!

  • If you’re part of a group practice, strengthen it through our Group Practice Review (GPR) program.
    • A GPR includes a standard of practice review, where a CPSA-trained nurse reviewer visits your practice to determine whether certain elements are our standards are being met. Find out more.
  • Another option is to complete a self-directed review of your patient records, using CPSA’s Standards of Practice Metrics tools.
    • We currently have two self-directed tools available, one for primary care and one for referral encounters, both highlighting several components of our standards of practice.

Questions about PPIP?

We understand physicians have many priorities, but completing your PPIP activities does not have to be an exceedingly onerous task, and will ultimately improve your practice for the benefit of your patients. As always, we are here to provide advice and support if you need it. Reach out by email at

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