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WHAT IS FACILITY ENGAGEMENT?

Facility Engagement was launched by the Specialist Services Committee in 2016 as a BC-wide initiative to strengthen communication, relationships and collaboration between facility-based physicians and their health authorities.

It aims to increase meaningful physician involvement in health authority decisions about their work environment and the delivery of patient care. Key elements include:

  • Improved opportunities for physicians and health authority leaders to work together to share knowledge and make informed decisions that improve patient care, the physician experience, and the cost-effectiveness of the health care system.

  • Opportunities and support for physicians who work at facilities and are members of the medical staff to develop a meaningful voice, and increase involvement in local activities that affect their work and patient care.

  • Funding to support activities that involve physicians in decision-making, to pay for their time in activities, and to hire  expertise to support them (e.g. a coordinator for administrative support; an analyst to track issues, develop business cases and manage projects; a physician lead to support engagement activities).

As of February 2020, across BC’s acute care facilities and programs, 72 Medical Staff Associations in 6 health authorities and more than 4,300 physicians have participated in 2600+ Facility Engagement activities.

A NEW APPROACH >
  • Facility Engagement is part of the Physician Master Agreement. 

  • Each health authority has committed through a Memorandum of Understanding to support greater engagement and collaboration with physicians.

  • A structure and financial resources support physicians to address and participate in activities at their site, rather than work off the side of their desk.

  • The Specialist Services Committee is overseeing the initiative and distributing funding. Funding is administered through a physician society or alternative structure established at local sites.

  • The provincial initiative has maintained flexibility for activities to be tailored to each site.

MEMBERSHIP

  • Participation is open to all health authorities and their facilities with acute care beds, and physicians with privileges inside BC facilities who are members of the medical staff. Membership includes specialists, general practitioners and alternatively paid physicians. A society may also choose to have non-physicians participate as non-voting members or guests.

SUPPORT

  • Facilitation expertise is provided by Facility Engagement Liaisons (FELs) who can help physicians establish active organizations that can carry out funded activities at their sites.

  • Tools and templates are provided to support implementation, including job descriptions, contracts, terms of reference, and constitution and bylaws for local customization.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLES

  1. An MSA can establish a representative voice for the medical staff at a site by creating a physician society to accept funds, and a working committee with participation from across the facility to oversee activities. It can then gather input and help identify and prioritize issues of importance for the medical staff and advance a short-list of priorities to the leadership of the health authority through existing avenues such as the Medical Advisory Committee, or any other forum dedicated to addressing issues in a facility.

  2. Physicians may seek to find better ways to communicate with each other. Funding can be used to compensate a physician champion, develop a strategy and trial new methods.

  3. The leadership of a health authority or MSA may seek to solve a problem that spans a number of departments. The issue can be discussed by the MSA for input or advice.

  4. A capital build project may need to have physician input on the development of new facilities or the re-design of existing buildings. Funding could support physicians to participate in a consultation process.

  5. Physicians may want to use funding to help support new quality improvement initiatives within their facility.

STEPS TO GET INVOLVED >

> Step 1:

Get the support of the entire medical staff and the facility’s local administration. If your site has an active MSA and local support, your FEL can help you draft a joint letter of support for submission for start up funding.

> Step 2:

Your facility can then be approved for start-up funding of up to $75,000, to help establish a meaningful, representative governance structure that suits your facility.

> Step 3:

Once this structure is in place, your MSA/Society is eligible for annual funding depending on the size of the facility. Start up funding varies according to size of the facility and number of acute care beds.

Your Facility Engagement Liaison can help every step of the way.

CONTACT: engagement@doctorsofbc.ca

QUALIFYING FOR FUNDS >

To receive annual funding, medical staff must have:

  • A governance and a decision-making structure that will represent the doctors in the facility.
  • The ability to receive, account for, and report on expenditures.
  • General agreement to proceed with health authority representatives at the start of the process.

To find out if/how your site is involved, contact your medical staff president and/or local site administrator or e-mail engagement@doctorsofbc.ca