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New CPSO Advice Clarifies Roles and Responsibilities in Common Care Scenarios 

September 28, 2023

Family doctors told the OCFP and SGFP that other parts of the healthcare system are placing unnecessary and inappropriate burden onto family doctors and your practice.

We heard that a lack of role clarity between referring and consulting doctors is potentially leading to care-related activity not happening in the right setting, and it’s taking away time for direct patient care. As part of that concern, you asked for clarification on CPSO advice.

We heard you and we took action to seek clarification from the CPSO.

Informed in part by joint feedback from the OCFP and SGFP, the CPSO just published updated ‘Advice to the Profession: Continuity of Care.’ The updates clarify existing policy expectations, including roles and responsibilities around certain key scenarios between family doctors and specialists.

The advice, available in full on the CPSO website, provides additional guidance on the following scenarios:

  • Except in specified circumstances, any physician who determines that a test is needed is responsible for ordering that test, tracking the results and managing any follow-up stemming from that test.
  • When family doctors have been copied on test requisitions, they have no additional responsibility for the test or results unless there is a reason to believe that a clinically significant test result has not been followed up on.
  • Consultant physicians can support referring physicians by accepting consultation requests, where possible, even if there are minor issues with the requests (e.g., incorrect or outdated referral forms).

For more information on these and other updates to this document, please see CPSO’s article in eDialogue.

These updates will clarify roles, responsibilities and help to improve transitions in care between family doctors and specialists.

What’s next:

The OCFP will develop education opportunities and tools to ensure family doctors are aware of the updated advice to help streamline transitions in care for patients. We are also working with partners to educate physicians on existing CPSO policies, where gaps in awareness may exist.

The OCFP will continue working with the SGFP and OMA to help reduce the administrative burden facing family doctors by exploring innovative policy solutions and collaborating with key stakeholders.

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