Coming Together for Patients Event a Success

On January 30, 104 physicians – Victoria and South Island family physicians and their specialist colleagues – attended the Coming Together for Patients event. Hosted by the Victoria Division of Family Practice, the event was intended for socializing, building connections, and sharing ideas to improve referrals for everyone.

The majority of attendees (98%) reported the event helped strengthen collegiality among physicians and improved understanding of the challenges faced by colleagues regarding referrals. “Amazing turnout, much higher than I would have imagined, with specialists from so many disciplines! Speaks to the desire to collaborate and improve workflow between doctors in our community,” said Victoria Division member Dr. Fred Voon, local emergency physician and South Island Medical Staff Association co-president.

A number of quality improvement ideas were generated from the evening and have already inspired a few small changes by some physicians who hope to improve the referrals experience for their colleagues. Here are two examples:
• Specialists at the event stressed the importance for family physicians to include a question they want answered within the referral. This provides specialists with a clear understanding of what they need to address when meeting with a patient.
• Family physicians shared their need to receive a referral acknowledgement from the specialist and, if possible, an estimated wait time. These two things can dramatically reduce the administrative burden for family practices while helping to keep patients informed about referral status.

If you would like to attend any upcoming referrals events, please email Mel Murray at and ask to be added to the invitation list.

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