Addressing Quality of Care
March 2023
By Dr. Carmel Overli-Domes, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP Senior Medical Advisor
Some Common Complaints and Prevention

One of the complaints more commonly encountered in the Quality of Care Department at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) regarding physicians is the quality of the interaction and communication.  This could be between the physician and the patient, or even sometimes the physician and another health care provider.  How can you prevent these types of complaints from happening?

Good communication skills are essential in medicine.  What you say, and how you say it are important.  Thoroughly explaining, answering all questions, and making sure your patient understands are key parts of all patient encounters.  Spend the time that is needed.

Sometimes complaints can come from other colleagues: nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and other members of the patient’s health care team.  Effective team communication is important.

The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) website has helpful advice on communication.

Communicating effectively with patients to optimize their care

Patient Centered Communication

Leveraging the power of collaboration to foster safe care

            Team Communication

Practice management and access are other common sources of complaints to the CPSS.  How can you prevent some of these common types of complaints from happening to you?  Make sure your practice is covered appropriately. 

POLICY – Medical Practice Coverage

If you’re leaving practice, ensure to do so consistent with the CPSS Policy.

POLICY: Physicians Leaving Practice

Another issue that comes up in complaints at the CPSS is regarding completion of forms.  Make sure you complete your patient’s form appropriately and in a timely manner. 

POLICY – Completion of Third Party Forms and Certification of Work Absence / Accommodation due to Illness or Injury

Remember to follow CPSS Policies.  Be aware that amendments could occur at future reviews too.  Amendments are always reported in the next issue of DocTalk after their approval by the Council.

If you have further questions, please contact the CPSS for guidance.

  Dr. Carmel Overli-Domes BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP is a Senior Medical Advisor with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.