March 2023

UPDATE! Planning for CPSS data collection/compliance monitoring process related to the Medical Practice Coverage policy

Source:  Sheila Torrance, Legal Counsel, CPSS

As reported in the November 2022 issue of DocTalk last fall, the CPSS Council directed the Registrar’s office to create and embark on a process to collect data on physician compliance with the expectations of the Medical Practice Coverage policy.  We anticipate this process will start in March 2023.

This will be an educational process and may also inform the upcoming sunset review of the policy.

As a reminder, this will impact ALL physicians in Saskatchewan who are involved in direct patient care [as defined in the policy, this includes primary care physicians (including those working at urgent care/walk-in/episodic care clinics/virtual care services), and specialists/consultants providing care as part of a sustained physician/patient relationship].

Steps are underway to randomly select physicians from within general areas of practice; College staff will call those physicians’ offices a) during the daytime to ensure calls are answered in a timely fashion and/or appropriate messaging is in place, and b) after-hours to ensure appropriate messaging is in place.  As set out in section 3.1 of the policy, messaging must provide clear, accurate and current information on:

  1. practice office hours;
  2. any office closures;
  3. any relevant coverage information (i.e. how the patient can access after-hours, non-emergent care); and
  4. instructions on how to access emergency care (i.e. to call 9-1-1).

In addition, messaging must confirm a mechanism is in place to communicate urgent lab or imaging results to the on-call physician or designate, as well as a mechanism for colleagues or associated health professionals to speak to the physician or designate if required.

We will report on the results of this data collection in a future issue.