Quality Book of Tools

Improving quality in family practice can be daunting: Where do you begin?

  • How do you get started?
  • How do you prioritize all the things you want to improve?
  • Are you sure you are doing everything you can to facilitate the process?
  • Do you ever worry about missing reports or test results?
  • Are you as good as you think you are in immunization?
  • Do you know how to conduct an audit of your practice?
  • Do you know how to seek feedback from your patients?

McMaster University and the Ontario College of Family Physicians have developed, tested, refined, validated and revised a comprehensive set of quality and safety performance indicators to assess a family practice in Canada that was available in the 2010 edition of the Quality Book of Tools; it is part of an interdisciplinary, voluntary assessment Quality program.

Indicators from New Zealand’s Aiming for Excellence, Australia’s Standards for General Practice; the European Practice Assessment, the UK Quality and Outcomes Framework, and the Canadian Institute of Health Information’s Pan Canadian Indicators were compared with the Quality Tool (Healthcare Quarterly 2013;16(1):39-45).

The 'orphan' indicators were validated through a Delphi process involving primary care and quality experts in Canada. The results are incorporated into the new book.

Five Guiding Principles

  • Voluntary
  • Self-reflection
  • Patient/consumer involvement
  • Interdisciplinary teams
  • Continuous quality improvement (CQI)

Eight new categories, 6 based on the Institute of Medicine aims for the 21st century (safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable) and 2 based on the Ontario Health Quality Council’s reporting framework attributes of a high performing health system (appropriate resources, integrated) form the backbone of the Tool.

A total of 70 indicators with associated defining criteria and a further information section with helpful web linked tools complete the Tool.

The Authors

Cheryl Levitt (Professor & Family Doctor) and Linda Hilts (Assistant Professor & Registered Nurse) of McMaster University, Canada, with involvement of the Ontario College of Family Physicians, have published a book called Quality in family practice Book of Tools.

The book is available free for download or purchase at http://qualitybookoftools.ca and is a comprehensive set of practice management and clinical indicators for use in family practices.

The authors are working on a set of teaching modules for Getting Started with quality in family practice.

These modules will help become available over the next year, so stay tuned.