Potentially Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing in Canadian Primary Care

In April 2022 the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) released a report on potentially inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections in Canadian primary care. The report represents a collaboration between CPCSSN and Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC), the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in Canada. The report contributes to antimicrobial stewardship in Canada by showing baseline prescription patterns of antibiotics before and during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Data are analyzed from the years 2019 and 2020 for those who had a visit to primary care for either a respiratory or urinary tract infection. A visual research brief and the full report are available on the CPCSSN website.

TBC@UBC network event June 15: Innovative composition of disciplines on healthcare teams

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 12:00-1:30 pm PT | Zoom | Register: bit.ly/tbcubc_jun15reg

How are healthcare teams innovating with, and being impacted by, adding novel disciplines and roles into the team to address prevalent patient needs? What ideas and questions arise from such innovative team composition?

The Pacific Northwest Division of Family Practice has partnered with UBC dietetics and kinesiology programs and other organizations to establish a team-based program called CHANGE BC. The program is led by a family physician who educates patients about the risks of chronic disease and includes a dietitian and kinesiologist who empower them to undertake an individualized supervised program of diet modification and exercise. This approach is a response to local health needs, particularly among Indigenous communities. Where patients want connection to land-based activities, such as harvesting wild food, the program aims to link physical activity and diet elements to those activities, in connection with the community’s culture and traditions.

Panelists representing this unique partnership will engage network members to raise and consider ideas, issues, and questions about developing team-based care with novel disciplines and roles, with special consideration of innovative practices, health professional education, and research.

The formal presentation and question period (60 minutes) will be followed by an opportunity for informal discussion and networking (30 minutes):

  • 12:00-1:00 pm: Panel Presentation and Dialogue
  • 1:00-1:30 pm: Informal Discussion and Networking (optional)

To participate, register at bit.ly/tbcubc_jun15reg.

About the TBC@UBC Network

The TBC@UBC Network, supported by UBC Health, convenes health professionals and leaders, community members, academics, and policymakers to bring forward questions and ideas important for team-based care in BC. The network supports province-wide efforts to enhance team-based care in BC, by enabling participants to learn from each other and connect their efforts, and engaging UBC’s potential to contribute education, research, evaluation, and knowledge translation. Each network event applies a different lens to the themes of research, pedagogy, and practice innovation. To participate in future network activities, or to learn more, visit health.ubc.ca/tbc.  Please feel free to circulate this invitation to colleagues and partners who would be interested.

National Diabetes Framework Engagement

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is undertaking a virtual engagement process to support Bill C-237 – An Act to Establish a National Diabetes Framework, which received Royal Assent in June 2021.

The process for engagement is taking several forms including key informant interviews, stakeholder dialogues, and this online engagement where we welcome your ideas and priorities to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes in Canada.

A survey will be available for your input until May 9, 2022.

Job opportunities at Upstream Lab

Research coordinator II to support RCTs including AFTERMATH:

Closes April 14: https://www.recruitingsite.com/csbsites/unityhealth/JobDescription.asp?lang=en&JobNumber=896212

Research coordinator II supporting public health systems/pop. health projects including this:

Closes April 26: https://www.recruitingsite.com/csbsites/unityhealth/JobDescription.asp?lang=en&JobNumber=896963

We are looking for the next SPOR Primary Care Research Network Executive Director!

The Executive Director (ED) is part of the Executive Management team of the SPOR (Strategy for Patient Oriented Research) Primary Care Research Network (PCRN). The ED is responsible for overseeing day-to-The Executive Director (ED) is part of the Executive Management team of the SPOR (Strategy for Patient Orientated Research) Primary Care Research Network. The ED is responsible for overseeing day-to-day network management, finances, and operations; overseeing network governance; and building partnerships. The ED will work with various primary health care (PHC) partners and groups to achieve the network’s priorities over the life of the five-year grant. The ED will be responsible for ensuring a culture of collaboration and information sharing across the network, working towards alignment of provincial and territorial PHC research priorities. The ED will promote and foster shared purpose amongst network members to ensure the transformative results and priority outcomes the network is aiming for. 

Apply today to become part of our transformative team! Read the full job description and apply here.

Nous recherchons le prochain directeur exécutif ou la prochaine directrice exécutive du Réseau de recherche de soins de première ligne SRAP !

Le directeur exécutif ou la directrice exécutive (DE) fait partie de l’équipe de direction du Réseau de recherche de soins de première ligne SRAP (Stratégie de recherche axée sur le patient). Le ou la DE est chargé.e de superviser la gestion, les finances et les opérations quotidiennes du Réseau, d’en superviser la gouvernance et de créer des partenariats. Cette personne travaillera avec divers partenaires et groupes de soins de santé de première ligne pour réaliser les priorités du Réseau pendant la durée de la subvention de cinq ans. Le ou la DE sera responsable d’assurer une culture de collaboration et de partage de l’information dans l’ensemble du Réseau, en travaillant à l’harmonisation des priorités de recherche provinciales et territoriales en matière de soins de santé de première ligne. Cette personne encouragera les membres du Réseau à partager un objectif commun afin d’obtenir les résultats transformateurs et les résultats prioritaires visés par le éseau.

Postulez dès aujourd’hui pour faire partie de notre équipe transformatrice !

Vous pouvez soumettre votre candidature ici* : (soumission de la candidature en anglais seulement)

*Pour une version en français de la description du poste, veuillez nous contacter à l’adresse suivante : danielle.schirmer@usherbrooke.ca.

Implementing Case Management in Primary Care: Findings and reflections from a multi-province SPOR Study

This Special Session of the Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) Network Learning Series will discuss the PriCARE Study, specifically exploring the implementation of a case management approach in primary care settings in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In this study, nurse-led case management is offered to patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs who can be frequent users of the healthcare system. Presenters will highlight the barriers and facilitators identified by clinic managers, nurse case managers, family doctors, and nurse practitioners. Both researchers and patient partners will discuss the implementation analysis that was conducted as well as the findings in order to inform decision makers, care providers, patients, and researchers who are considering implementation of case management in primary care.

March 22, 2022 | 12:00-1:30 PM EST

Catherine Hudon, Principal Investigator
Dana Howse, Research Associate
Alannah Delahunty-Pike, Research Associate
Linda Wilhelm, Patient Partner
Donna Rubenstein, Patient Partner

Please submit any questions to jamie.demore@spor-pihci.com

TBC@UBC Network hosting an interactive online session on team-based care and virtual communication

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
12:00-1:00 pm PST
Register here

The TBC@UBC Network, supported by UBC Health, convenes health professionals and leaders, community members, academics, and policymakers to bring forward questions and ideas important for team-based care in BC. The network supports province-wide efforts to enhance team-based care in BC, by enabling participants to learn from each other and connect their efforts, and engaging UBC’s potential to contribute education, research, evaluation, and knowledge translation. Each network event applies a different lens to the themes of research, pedagogy, and innovation.

The session on February 9 will ask: 

  • How are healthcare teams and networks innovating with, and being impacted by, remote presencing technology (including Zoom and FaceTime), virtual sims.ed, and virtual care?
  • What ideas and questions are arising for virtually-assisted education of health professional learners in team-based care across BC, particularly those in rural and remote areas of the province?

The session will provide panelist perspectives and lots of space for dialogue among participants. The three panelists’ perspectives reflect themes of practice innovation, education, and research:

  • John Pawlovich, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, UBC; Rural Doctors’ UBC Chair in Rural Health
  • Rae Marchal, Physiotherapist, University Hospital of Northern BC
  • Jude Kornelsen, Assistant Professor and Co-Director, Centre for Rural Health Research, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, UBC

To learn more about the TBC@UBC Network, or to join the network to participate in future activities, click here.

Poster presentations at NAPCRG conference

The North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting was held virtually November 19-23, 2021. A series of posters were presented by BC-PHCRN-related researchers:

Participants’ Experience in using Point of Care Rapid Antigen Testing for SARS-CoV-2
Ndateba I, Wong ST, Tobias E, Romney M, Haase K, Ranger M, Saewyc E, Schwandt M, & Sin DD.
Describes the experience of using a point-of-care rapid antigen test to detect SARS-CoV-2 amongst an asymptomatic population living or working in congregate housing at the University of BC.

Mapping Primary Care in Canada for a Patient Reported Experience and Outcome Measures Survey: OECD PaRIS
Puzhko S, Wong S, Poitras ME, Hanson Y, Macartney G, Schwarz C, Doucet S, Bartlett G.
Describes differences in the provincial approaches to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Patient Reported Indicator Survey (PaRIS) initiative related to the diversity of primary care delivery across Canada.

BC Primary Health Care Research Network
Mudaliar V, Wong S, Oelke N.
Evaluate BC-PHCRN’s accomplishments in relation to the ten deliverables outlined by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and provides an update on the network’s activities.

Building the Foundation for a Practice-based Research Network: Supporting Primary Care Research across Canada
Wong ST, Bartlett G, DeMore J, Beaudry A, Bhattacharyya O.
Describes key components of building the foundation for cross-jurisdictional, practice-based research in Canada.

Recruiting family physicians for a study to identify and provide appropriate information to their COVID-19 vaccine hesitant patients

Our team of family physicians from the University of Ottawa and the Montfort Hospital has partnered with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit multimedia communications team to help you communicate with your patients efficiently and effectively using digital messages.

​The Public Health Agency of Canada has provided funding for an innovative research project using the Canadian Primary Care Information Network (CPIN), an automated patient engagement system for primary care practices, to enable family physicians and nurse practitioners to send messages about practice or COVID-19 related topics to groups of patients by email or text.

Benefits for your patients and for your practice

CPIN allows you to rapidly inform your patients about new procedures for clinic visits, availability of vaccines from COVID-19 to flu, or patient education materials for managing conditions like back pain. It also offers a reliable and confidential system to collect anonymous feedback on patients’ experiences by including a link to a short survey at the end of each message. You can choose from our library of prepared messages and surveys, or you can create your own. This system de-identifies your patient survey responses and reports them back to you, allowing you to better understand your patient’s experiences and information needs.

​As part of our research project, we will include survey questions on COVID-19 vaccination status or interest and reasons for hesitation or lack of interest among your unvaccinated patients who respond. Our team, working with communications and public health experts, will develop messages to address vaccine hesitancy, based on patient characteristics such as age, rurality, etc. and the reasons why they are not vaccinated. These messages will then be sent to groups of patients for whom they are tailored, by email or text message using CPIN. Our researchers will measure whether this tailored and targeted digital communication from primary care providers increases vaccine uptake.

Participation is free and simple

We are recruiting 300 physicians and nurse practitioners with a family/general practice (i.e. not specializing in a narrow set of conditions or treatments) and with their own list of patients. We will offer participating providers the patient outreach, survey and feedback services free for one year. This is a value of $500 per practice (waived one-time fee) and $500 per provider (waived annual fee for the year). We will also compensate each participating provider $125 for their time being oriented on the CPIN system and study.

Find out more

June 2021 BC-PHCRN Update

Greetings from BC-PHCRN. It has been yet another unique and challenging year in BC. We have remained committed to moving forward with research and knowledge translation activities with the goal of improving primary care in BC.

BC-PHCRN is one of 11 networks in a pan-Canadian primary care network, the Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) Network. Our BC network is funded by CIHR with matching funds from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), the BC Ministry of Health, and the General Practice Services Committee. Our current funding cycle finishes in September 2021 and the renewal process for the next iteration of the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) PIHCI Networks has begun. BC-PHCRN would like to invite our partners and stakeholders to participate in the renewal process in BC. Please contact us at info@spor-bcphcrn.ca for more information.

In This Update

Partnership with the Innovation Support Unit on COVIDtoolkit.ca

The Innovation Support Unit (ISU) at the UBC Department of Family Medicine supports innovation and improvement in primary care by collaborating with primary care programs and projects and connecting academic knowledge to applied projects. In the spring of 2020 the ISU engaged with the BC-PHCRN Advisory Committee and Patient Advisory in a prioritization exercise to inform evaluation planning for Primary Care Networks, as part of a learning cycle with the BC Ministry of Health. More recently, the ISU launched the COVID Immunization Preparedness Primary Care Clinic Toolkit (COVIDtoolkit.ca), with national and province-specific content. The toolkit includes a section on identifying eligible patients that was informed by collaboration with the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN), the BC arm of which is part of BC-PHCRN. The toolkit provides resources to support primary care clinics to use electronic medical record data to stratify patients according to their risk of complications from COVID-19. The resource includes instructions for using CPCSSN data (automated), as well as step by step instructions for practices to do this manually. These resources support clinicians to prioritize vaccinations for their patients.

SPOR PIHCI Network Learning Series 2020-2021

The PIHCI Network Coordinating Office presented an online seminar series throughout the past year. Each session features a different provincial or territorial PIHCI network as host. The format includes an expert presentation, followed by a panel discussion (including at least one patient partner), and an open Q&A. One of the speakers at session 5, which focused on PREMs (patient-reported experience measures) and PROMs (patient-reported outcome measures) in primary health care (April 27, 2021), was Sabrina Wong, BC-PHCRN Science Lead, talking about implementation of internationally comparable patient-reported indicators in Canada. All sessions are recorded, and the recordings and the details of upcoming sessions are available on the national PIHCI network website.

Collaboration to Deliver Point of Care SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Testing

BC-PHCRN collaborated with UBC nursing students, UBC student residences, UBC student health services, and Vancouver Coastal Health public health teams to offer point of care SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test using BD Veritor technology in the Orchard Commons residence on UBC campus during the winter 2021 term. The rapid antigen testing model using BD Veritor was shared with rural Divisions of Family Practice and multiple post secondary institutions across BC and Canada. A summer clinic is currently underway – the first in Canada to use the Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Kit in a university setting. The summer clinic includes a clinical trial component testing the feasibility of offering self-administered rapid tests. If you are asymptomatic and live or work at UBC, you are eligible for testing.

A Learning Health System for Physician Quality Improvement

BC-PHCRN is working with the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice in BC’s Interior region to create indicators to help physicians with quality improvement, targeting accessibility, relational continuity, screening and prevention, and patient experience. Ask us to learn more!

For CPCSSN Sentinels: New Diabetes Dashboard in the Data Presentation Tool

Primary care providers that are part of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) have access to the Data Presentation Tool to visualize patient information and clinician practice patterns for quality improvement. We have added a Diabetes Dashboard, which has dedicated reports for managing diabetes patients. We have created new short, targeted video clips to orient clinicians to the various quality improvement features of the Data Presentation Tool. Learn more on the CPCSSN website and YouTube channel.

BC-PHCRN has also continued to be involved in development of CPCSSN as the backbone of an information infrastructure for primary care to assist with health system performance assessment. For example, CPCSSN data managers sought to understand how COVID-19 test results are stored in the various different electronic medical record systems in preparation for extracting those data in spring 2021.

OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Patient-Reported Indicator Survey

The Canadian OECD Patient-Reported Indicator Survey (PaRIS) working group is comprised of SPOR PIHCIN provincial/territorial leads, Canada’s representative to the OECD PaRIS advisory group, and a Health Canada representative. Objectives include the ability to systematically collect data on what matters most to patients and report internationally comparable health care outcomes and experiences of adults with chronic conditions who are treated in primary/ambulatory care through indicators reported by patients themselves and that can be repeatedly measured over time. BC-PHCRN patients are providing input into governance, research, and research priorities. To learn more, listen to the PIHCI Network Learning Series presentation on PREMs and PROMS in primary care.

Canadian Quick COVID-19 Primary Care and Physiotherapy Surveys

In April 2020, BC-PHCRN led the SPOR PICHI Network in launching a primary care survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on primary care practices. Initially the survey ran on a weekly basis (open for four days each time), to be able to capture the current and evolving state of primary care in BC during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 12 survey cycles were conducted and results and an accompanying infographic are available on the PIHCIN website.

In May 2020, BC-PHCRN launched a similar pan-Canadian survey to examine the impact of COVID-19 on physiotherapists, including their contributions to the containment and management of COVID-19, as well as their stresses and challenges during this time. Results are available on the BC-PHCRN website.

Help Needed to Refine a Tool to Measure Patient-Oriented Research

The Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) is looking for researchers, patient partners, and decision-makers to assist in the refinement of a tool to measure patient-oriented research via participation in an online survey. The SCPOR Team has created an objective and replicable measure for determining how well proposed research meets the Canadian Institutes of Health Research definition of patient-oriented research. This measure is known as the Patient-Oriented Research Level of Engagement Tool, or the “PORLET.” The PORLET was initially designed to help grant review committees evaluate patient-oriented research grant proposals and has been used for this purpose on multiple occasions. It is also used to help explain patient-oriented research to those new to the process or to assist those who require supportive guidelines during the grant-writing phase of research proposals. Your participation is completely voluntary and is estimated to take between 30-40 minutes. Any information you provide will be anonymous. Patient Partners who complete the survey are eligible for an honorarium in acknowledgment of their time. Access the survey here.


The BC Primary Health Care Research Network (BC-PHCRN) is one of 11 Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) networks in Canadian jurisdictions designed to support evidence-informed transformation of the delivery of primary and integrated health care.

The goal of the BC-PHCRN is to encourage, facilitate, and support collaborations between government, health authorities, health professionals, patients and researchers in order to improve BC’s health care delivery system. The BC-PHCRN is an open network and welcomes individuals from all sectors involved in primary health care – researchers, patients, health care providers and policy makers.

The BC arm of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) is housed within BC-PHCRN, where we specifically reach out and work with primary care clinicians (e.g., family physicians, nurse practitioners, etc.) to provide analytic support of electronic medical record data for purposes of practice quality improvement, disease surveillance and research. BC CPCSSN is supported by the General Practice Service Committee.

Follow us on Twitter @BC_PHCRN.

To become a member of BC-PHCRN or to join CPCSSN, email us at info@spor-bcphcrn.ca or click here.

Please share this update with colleagues who you think may be interested in our activities. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.