'BEST' Patient Safety & Quality Award

A joint Providence Health Care and Shared Care Committee initiative, in collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Health, has received the BEST Patient Safety & Quality Award from Providence Health for a ‘GP Notification of Hospital Admission’ project.

What needed improving?

Recognizing that the safe transition of patients from hospital to community hinges on effective communication with family doctors, this project aimed to improve and formally structure a practice already taking place in Providence Health for greater continuity of care.

The BEST award recognized the collaborative work of multiple teams in developing a reliable and accurate system to identify a patient’s GP, notify them of their patient’s admittance to hospital, and invite them to be part of the hospital care team and discharge plan. Benefits to both patient and provider include:

  • the opportunity for the GP to be involved in the patient’s hospital care
  • the ability to share information between GP and hospital care team i.e., medical and family history, results of lab and diagnostic tests to reduce duplication
  • opportunity to coordinate patient education and action plans to help foster patient self-management
  • processes established for ongoing communication between GPs and hospital providers
  • built-in follow-up appointment for the patient with the family physician, plus a phone call within 48-72 hours of discharge

The Approach

Key stakeholders were identified for each phase of the project including inviting patients to provide their perspective in the redesign from the start. An assessment of the current state was conducted as a way to identify gaps and establish essential information to be included as part of the notification form. A notification fax back form was then developed to invite GPs to be part of the hospital team for the care of their patients. This form was trialed on two medical teaching wards and following six months of data collection and feedback, was revised again and spread to five medical wards.

Based on the success of the manual system and to further increase accuracy, the decision was made to proceed with an automatic electronic system through Excelleris. Work started on this in 2014 with large scale engagement of all inpatient acute units across Providence Health, and the system went live on March 2, 1015. 80% of notifications are now sent electronically, with a small number faxed. 


One month post implementation there is interest in spreading the process across the Health Authority similar to a Victoria Shared Care GP notification pilot project that was recently adopted by Island Health. 

For more details, please contact Margot Wilson at mwilson@providencehealth.bc.ca