Jul 2022

Quality improvement projects lead to enhanced health care outcomes


PHOTO ABOVE: Physician Led Quality Improvement (PLQI) Cohort 5 graduates (Left to right): Dr. Bonnie Law, Dr. Daniel Raff , Dr. Jeremy Ho, Dr.Amy Bazzarelli, Dr. Fiona Duncan and Dr. Nam Phuong Julie Nguyen.

– By DARREN PIPER, previously published in one.vch.ca


Equity, innovation and teamwork were among the many themes that emerged at the Physician-Led Quality Improvement (PLQI) Cohort 5 graduation event last month.

The physicians were joined by senior medical and operational leaders from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Providence Health Care (PHC) as they celebrated another successful completion of quality improvement (QI) training and learning action projects.

Among them was Dr. Kelly Mayson, PLQI Chair and host of the event, which took place at the Arbutus Club in Vancouver. She applauded the physicians’ hard work and ingenuity, and their ability to effect positive change in their areas of work.

“Tonight we’re here to celebrate each of the physicians who, upon discovering problems, asked themselves, ‘what could be done to make this better,’ and then went out and did it,” said Dr. Mayson.

Other speakers included Ryan Murray, Co-Chair, Specialist Services Committee (SSC), Dr. Nardia Strydom, Regional Department Head, Family Medicine, VCH and PHC, and Deborah Baker, VCH Board Member (pictured to the right).

Deborah, who is also a full-time member of the Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council, praised the PLQI physicians for their accomplishments.

“I really appreciate all of the phenomenal quality improvement work going on,” said Deborah. “Much like the health-care industry – Indigenous people and culture are forever evolving, and I look forward to what the future holds as we continue to work together.”

The projects conducted by PLQI physicians occurred in various regions across VCH and PHC, in both acute and community settings, and ranged widely across a variety of quality and health dimensions.

Dr. Jeremy Ho, whose project addressed gaps in patient data collection – thus reducing appointment booking delays – at Richmond Cancer Clinic, said the experience has helped improve his team’s morale.

“The PLQI project has really helped to reduce issues of burnout, and not just for myself, but for my entire team,” said Dr. Ho. “There has been an overall positive shift in our workplace culture, where our team now feels empowered to tackle other quality issues.”

Another graduate, Dr. Bonnie Law, completed a project which reduced re-admissions between Holy Family Hospital rehabilitation and emergency departments.

Dr. Law said the program provides the resources necessary to make a real impact in patient care.

“We’re given the opportunity to improve and to change,” said Dr. Law. “The PLQI program serves as an avenue to address quality problems, and in turn, enhances both the health-care provider and patient experience.”

She said small changes are important first steps to initiate further QI initiatives, and to positively transform health-care practices.

Embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in quality improvement settings

The final speaker was Dr. Joy Masuhara, VCH Regional Medical Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and PLQI alumnus, who stressed the importance of including DEI markers in QI projects.

She said health inequities are disproportionately present among Indigenous communities, and highlighted the potential for QI projects in this area.

“As I continue to learn about equity, and inequity, within our health-care system – the need for further attention becomes increasingly evident,” said Dr. Masuhara. “I strongly believe that the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion need to inform our approach to quality improvement to achieve better health outcomes.”

Learn more about PLQI, past QI projects and how to apply for QI training.

PHOTO: (Left to right): Allison Muniak (Executive Director, Quality and Patient Safety, and Infection Control), RyanMurray (Co-Chair, Specialist Services Committee), Vivian Chan (Director, Medical Quality, Leadership and Practice), Dr. Bonnie Law (PLQI Graduate), Janet Kow (Interim Vice President, Pandemic Response and Senior Medical Director, Quality and Safety) and Kelly Mayson (PLQI Chair)


PLQI is funded in through the Specialist Services Committee, a partnership of Doctors of BC and the Government of British Columbia.