After an extended six-month consultation period, CPSO Council has approved four inter-related Continuity of Care policies. Continuity of care is an essential component of patient-centred care and an important contributor to patient safety. While the CPSO recognizes that physicians are not solely responsible for ensuring that continuity of care is achieved, as there are often health system level factors beyond their control that impede or facilitate continuity of care, physicians do have a role to play given the prominent and important role they hold in the health care system.
The CPSO’s approach has been to focus on those issues or elements of continuity of care that are within the control or influence of physicians. The policies set out expectations relating to a range of inter-related issues. They are:
In addition to these policies, a companion Advice to the Profession: Continuity of Care document has been developed to help physicians interpret their obligations and provide guidance around how these obligations may be effectively discharged. It also provides some background information on the scope of these policies and the role of patients, technology, and the health care system in facilitating continuity of care.
Recognizing that these policies contain new expectations that may require time for physicians to adjust how they manage their practice, the CPSO has implemented a formal transition period to allow physicians to align with any new expectations that were not previously set out in policy or where there has been a substantial change in the expectation. This transition period will end on Sunday, October 20, 2019.