Valuable opportunities for growth and evolution have come out of the worldwide pandemic, especially in our healthcare system. As the world was quarantining, the healthcare community came together in unconventional spaces. Unable to connect in-person, alternate forms of collaboration came to light within the field of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS). From this, a Toronto-wide Community of Practice (CoP) that aimed to strengthen the QIPS community came together. Led by a number of notable figureheads in QI, including several who are members of the Department of Medicine (DoM), the TAHSN Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Community of Practice came to fruition.
“I am proud to have been a part of the group who helped guide the launch of the TAHSN QIPS CoP. The CoP has helped us to grow the community of QI leaders, clinicians, practitioners and researchers working within TAHSN organizations and create new opportunities for collaborative action” says Dr. Brian Wong, the formal Director of Co-Learning and Quality Improvement Education and current Associate Professor in the DoM at the University of Toronto. Dr. Wong is also the Director of the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (CQuIPS), an extra-departmental unit at the University of Toronto.
As a CoP, the group of nearly 450 members is self-sustaining, without direct affiliations to one particular hospital or university. This does not hinder enthusiasm as the meetings have been consistently well attended with vigorous discussions and active asynchronous work. The members of this CoP consist of individuals with various roles across allied health with the shared goal of delivering excellence in healthcare through sustained, continuous change and learning. In addition to their varied backgrounds, members of the CoP are also affiliated with organizations across the TAHSN network, including the DoM at the University of Toronto. Dr. Lucas Chartier, the newly appointed Vice President of Quality and Safety at the University Health Network and associate professor in the DoM at the University of Toronto says of his connections made within the CoP: “The TAHSN QIPS CoP has enabled me to connect more easily with like-minded colleagues, hear of their amazing work to refine and elevate our own, and feel part of a community of improvers who won’t settle for the status quo. It has been an energizing community, which I am proud to be part of.” His commentary is similar to feedback from a number of others within the CoP. This demonstrates that within the first year of its inception, the community is meeting and supporting its goals of strengthening communication throughout the QIPS community, leveraging unique strengths and expertise within QIPS groups and identifying priority areas for collaborative action and focused research and scholarship.
To further deepen its impact, the CoP recognized that each unit, group, and organization within TAHSN possessed unique areas of expertise. To leverage these strengths, collaborative projects were initiated, where individuals with diverse backgrounds came together to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences. By embracing a multidisciplinary approach, they introduced each other to new ways of thinking. To further new knowledge and promote action, the TAHSN QIPS CoP developed three active work streams which work to stimulate action in key QIPS areas: Advancing Equity through QIPS (Equity work stream), Enabling Multisite QIPS Initiatives through Data (Data work stream) and Improving Patient Safety. Many members of the DoM community have notable impact on the work streams such as Drs. Amol Verma and Fahad Razak who are the co-leads of the Data work stream and Drs. Nazia Sharfuddin, Shail Rawal and Dhruv Nayyar who co-lead the language concordant care initiative within the Equity work stream. Within this first year, these work streams have been working on a various initiatives including improving language concordant care in TAHSN hospitals, integrating equity, diversity and inclusion principles and frameworks into QIPS education and engaging with outside organizations to design education plans and deliver education sessions.
The TAHSN QIPSCoP also collaborates with other Communities of Practice within TAHSN to ensure a well-rounded vision. As the manager of the TAHSN Secretariat, Jason Manayathu has an overarching view of the groups and work that occurs within the network. “TAHSN QIPS is a great example of the power of collaboration across our network. It leverages the unique strengths of member organizations and engages at multiple levels to advance several aspects of TAHSN’s strategy. This work will enhance patient care and lay the foundation for future impactful collaboration across TAHSN.” The QIPS CoP has engaged with a number of external groups and individuals to help inform areas of QIPS such as the TAHSN legal, antiracism group, sustainable healthcare and artificial intelligence. This open, balanced approach further demonstrates the necessity for collaboration and the multifaceted segments of QIPS.
TAHSN QIPS Community of Practice has demonstrated great successes and opened up avenues for substantial potential. Being its first year, the impact of this CoP is already immeasurable and will continue to create space for collaboration and enhance QIPS throughout TAHSN.
To learn more about the TAHSN QIPS COP or to join the community or a specific work stream, visit: https://cquips.ca/tahsn-qips-cop/