Practice-Driven Quality Improvement

A component of the Physician Practice Improvement Program (PPIP)

What is Quality Improvement (QI)?

According to The Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC)’s statement on physician quality improvement:

"Patients deserve and expect the best possible care from their physicians, and all licensed physicians in Canada must be able to demonstrate that they are sustaining and enhancing their competence throughout their careers."





PPIP was launched by CPSA on Jan. 1, 2021, to fulfill its legislated mandate of ensuring competence within the profession. All of CPSA’s regulated members must participate in PPIP.

Involvement in competence activities is mandated under part 3, section 50 of the Health Professions Act. Participation in any Continuing Competence program is completely confidential under sections 52 and 53 of the Health Professions Act.

How to start a cycle of QI

As part of the Physician Practice Improvement Program (PPIP), Alberta’s physicians must incorporate at least one personal development and two quality improvement activities into their practice over a continuous five-year cycle. One of the quality improvement activities must be practice-driven, using objective data.

What is practice-driven quality improvement?

Choose what you want to change within your practice! Use objective data and quality improvement methodology to identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies to enhance your practice.

The following elements are all part of a robust quality improvement activity:

  1. Reviewing objective data about your practice.
  2. Facilitation of your data with a colleague, direct supervisor, formal facilitator or trained coach.
  3. Developing and documenting an action plan—use our template to identify all of the elements expected from a robust QI activity.
  4. Implementing your plan and evaluating your success.

How robust your activity is depends on what you would like to achieve but at minimum, a practice-driven quality improvement activity must include objective data and an action plan.

As this program evolves, the elements may change but ultimately, your quality improvement activity should incite lasting change that is meaningful to you and your practice.

These activities can be done individually (e.g. assessing your prescribing), through a team initiative in your clinic (e.g. a process to improve clinic screening protocols), or through a systems-level project (e.g. participating as a local leader in a multi-site, patient outcome initiative).

Here are the basics to help you get started:

  • Identify a source of objective data that will help you gain a better understanding of your practice. For example:
    • Review triplicate prescribing data through MD Snapshot-Prescribing.
    • Evaluate your clinic’s screening or processes (such as third-next appointment availability) by looking at your EMR data.
    • Regularly review and reflect on your Health Quality Council of Alberta’s Primary Healthcare Panel Report or Alberta Health Services’ dashboard metrics.
  • Once you’ve successfully reviewed and assessed your practice, use this information to identify opportunities for practice improvements. Then create an action plan to address gaps.
  • Once you’ve executed your plan, evaluate its success using quality improvement methodology and determine your next steps.

PPIP supports the use of data in an ethical manner. CPSA encourages physicians to use the following free resource and support tools if there are questions regarding ethical data usage: Alberta Innovates: A Project Ethics Community Consensus Initiative (ARECCI)


An example of a non-clinical QI activity

Thank you to Dr. Sebastian Straube, a specialist in occupational medicine, for sharing his PPIP QI activity using practice-driven objective data, focused on addressing gaps in his teaching practice.

Working with evaluation data from his residents, Dr. Straube identified opportunities to improve his teaching skills. Find out more by watching this six-minute video and reviewing his action plan.

Practice improvement resources

Programs and organizations listed are possible avenues to completion of a PPIP activity. Please note that the list of resources is not exhaustive and if you are aware of additional resources, please let us know.

Practice improvement cycle information

Quality improvement tools & resources

Personal development tools & resources

Standards of practice tools & resources

Practice improvement programs & courses

Quality improvement articles

Questions about PPIP & QI?

Phone: 780-969-4986
Toll-free: 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4986 (in Canada)

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