Qualitycast North – a PQI podcast hosted by the NHPQI Physician Lead Dr. Shyr Chui.

The Qualitycast North podcast highlights Northern Physicians who are leading the way in a culture shift for quality improvement, and supporting the goals of the quadruple aim. Episodes are released every 3 weeks.

In an interview format, our host Dr. Shyr Chui invites guests from all over Northern BC to talk about their lives, work and how they are improving healthcare.

Listeners will hear about innovative quality improvement projects that are overcoming some of the challenges encountered by patients and their healthcare providers in the Northern environment, and will get an opportunity to be inspired by the unique benefits of living and working in Northern communities.

Current Episode

S01 E01 | Released 2022-05-13

Chasing the sharper image - improving image quality in the MRI department at UHNBC in Prince George, BC. featuring Dr. Shyr Chui

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used to create detailed images of organs and tissues inside the body. During an MRI scan, the patient must lie completely still in a confined space , which can be anxiety inducing, leading to fidgeting and movement. Any movement during the scan will result in lower quality images, which may require a repeat scan which is not only expensive, but is inconvenient for patients and contributes to longer wait times. Dr. Shyr Chui, a radiologist and the usual host of Qualitycast North, moves to the other side of the interview table to tell us about his work improving MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan quality and patient experience in the MRI department at the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC). By engaging a team of medical radiology technologists, nurses, and clerical staff in a kaizen event to collaboratively develop improvement ideas, the project was successful in increasing the percentage of high quality scans and providing a better patient experience. Dr. Chui also shares his motivations for starting a podcast, the importance of the right care in the right place at the right time to ensuring quality healthcare, and discloses his dislike of maths. This is our final episode of season 1 – we will back with new episodes in fall 2022.

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Earlier Episodes

S01 E09 | Released 2022-04-22

Acing the A1C; improving management of diabetes at the Northern Roots Primary Care Clinic in Smithers, BC - featuring Dr. Kalah Blackstock

Originally from rural Saskatchewan, Dr. Kalah Blackstock now practices medicine and is raising her young family in Smithers BC, a place she describes as a fun place to live and a supportive community for raising kids, where she loves the ‘mild’ winters. Dr. Blackstock and her team at the Northern Roots Primary Care Clinic recently sought to improve care for diabetic patients and prevent downstream complications and empower self management by focusing on increasing physical exams and frequency of the hemoglobin A1C blood test (which measures average blood sugars over several months). Their goal was to ensure 75% of diabetic patients had a physical exam and 3 hemoglobin A1C blood tests annually, and the team worked towards this by creating a standardized diabetic lab requisition, by implementing reminder calls to patients, and by coming together to learn about and prioritize quality improvement as a team.

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S01 E08 | Released 2022-04-01

Engineering a win-win for everyone. Reducing hospital re-admissions in the Frail and Elderly population at GR Baker Hospital in Quesnel, BC – featuring Dr. Jon Fine

Dr. Jon Fine began his career as a physician in 1976 stationed in Germany with the British Royal Army Medical Corps. He came to Canada and started a family practice in Quesnel in 1981, also creating a geriatric assessment service in 1996, and has since continued to specialize in the care of elderly patients. Dr. Fine has led multiple quality improvement projects aimed at reducing emergency room visits and hospital admissions of elderly patients. He emphasizes that quality healthcare should reflect the values of the patient and their family, and should provide services to ensure that older people can enjoy their lives in comfort and dignity. He also reflects on the joys of living in Northern BC, such as skiing with his grandkids, fishing, and wildlife viewing from his own backyard. After over 40 years in medicine, Dr. Fine began his well deserved retirement on April 1, 2022.

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S01 E07 | Released 2022-03-03

Humility is the key. Incorporating the patient and family perspective in improving healthcare quality – featuring patient advocate Duane Jackson

Duane Jackson is of the Fireweed clan of the Gitanmaax people of Old Hazelton and has lived the majority of his life in Prince Rupert on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Duane has been a patient advocate with the Patient Voices Network for over seven years with engagements including cultural safety and humility, at-risk youth, and positive patient partnership. In this episode, Duane describes his advocacy work, the importance of collaboration and shows us his ability to bring people together. Duane shares how embracing humility is the key to engaging in positive change. His vision for quality care is a system that is culturally safe for everyone (on both sides of the gurney), where anyone can walk through the door knowing they will find safety; an environment free of risk, compromise, and vulnerability. He provides advice for both providers and patients interested in incorporating patient lived experience into healthcare improvement, reminding us the door is open – we just have to find the courage to jump in with both feet.

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S01 E06 | Released 2022-02-18

Keeping patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) out of hospital and in the community – featuring Dr. Denise McLeod

Dr. Denise McLeod has always had a passion for caring for others. She worked for 12 years as a nurse before pursuing her dream career as a family physician. In her current practice she cares for patients across life’s spectrum, from newborns to palliative care. To better support her patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is the 4th leading cause of death in Canada, Dr. McLeod started group medical visits, with the goal of improving self management to avoid emergency room visits. These innovations not only improved things for her patients, but also inspired other physicians to adopt COPD group medical visits in their communities.

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S01 E05 | Released 2022-01-26

Seeing clearly in the Emergency Department. Raising quality and streamlining visits for patients with eye complaints – featuring Dr. Matthew Wahab

Prince George physician Dr. Matthew Wahab spent several years as a software developer before eventually deciding to pursue a career in medicine. He now loves going to work everyday in the Emergency Department at UHNBC and greatly appreciates the good personal and professional quality of life practicing in the North provides. In this episode Dr. Wahab shares how quality improvement helped him tackle the annoying problem of a lack of proper visual acuity checks being done on patients with eye complaints. Throughout his project, he and his team were able to improve the percent of completed visual acuity checks from 57% to 84%. He also discusses the importance of building a culture that is tolerant of change, and how consistent communication with all stakeholders is key for quality improvement initiatives to be successful.

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S01 E04 | Released 2022-01-07

More than just a pretty picture. Getting the right x-rays first time, every time – Featuring Dr. Joe Costa

A passion for hockey and sports eventually led Dr. Joe Costa to a career in orthopaedic surgery. Orthopaedic surgeries always require diagnostic images, such as x-rays, but due to variation in ordering pathways, up to 30% of x-rays ordered are not what the surgeon is looking for. This leads to repeated x-rays which are expensive for the healthcare system, and frustrating for patients. In this episode Dr. Costa discusses how he and his team aimed to improve the proportion of appropriate, complete, and necessary diagnostic images for MSK (musculoskeletal) problems from 70 – 90%. He also shares his ‘earth-shattering’ realization that Quality Improvement science and methodology are instrumental for creating successful change, and reflects on the privilege of working with Northern patients, and how practicing in Northern BC allowed him to achieve the dream of a backyard hockey rink.

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Dr. Joe Costa leads efforts to streamline referral process to musculoskeletal consultation and care

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S01 E03 | Released 2021-12-16

Long Distance Medicine; Setting up a rural specialist tele-kidney care service from scratch (featuring Dr. Anurag Singh)

In this episode we interview Dr. Anurag Singh, nephrologist and Medical Lead for the Northern Health Kidney Care program. Dr. Singh discusses the challenges he and his team face providing a regional kidney-care service across the massive geographical area of Northern BC, and how implementing a new telemedicine service improved care for patients in rural communities. In addition to improving access to care in rural communities, the tele-kidney care project achieved success in increasing the uptake of home dialysis to 22% (making it the highest in the province), and resulted in patients being referred for services earlier in their disease progression. Access to tele-kidney care also resulted in savings of an average of $375 in travel expenses and eliminated 839 km of travel per patient ($300,000 and 863,883km total). Dr. Singh also reflects on the professional rewards of practicing medicine in Northern BC, and the personal satisfaction of living in a community so close to nature.

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S01 E02 | Released 2021-11-25

All bodies are good bodies; Overcoming weight bias in primary care. How understanding a hidden problem can lead to higher quality care (featuring Dr. Omowumi Iyaoromi)

In this episode Dr. Shyr Chui talks with Prince George Family Practitioner Dr. Omowumi Iyaoromi about the unrecognized problem of weight bias in healthcare, what it is, how it affects patients and how to reduce its impact on healthcare quality. Dr. Iyaoromi shares the success she had with improving weight bias amongst a team of healthcare professionals as measured by the BOAP (beliefs about obese people) scale, her experiences using the EOSS (Edmonton Obesity Staging System) tool in clinical practice, and describes what she enjoys most about living and practicing in Northern BC.

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S01 E01 | Released 2021-11-05

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Group Medical Visits; leveraging patient education to reduce hospital admissions and emergency room visits

Dr. Denise Jaworsky, an internal medicine specialist practicing in Terrace BC, details her experiences helping patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease better understand and manage their condition by implementing an interprofessional team group visit approach in the community. She also shares how an unlucky day on the ski hill led to a career in medicine, discusses the importance of equity to healthcare quality, and reflects on the importance of community.

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Upcoming Episodes

Qualitycast North is on a summer break! We will return with a new season in the fall of 2022.