CFHI Selects 10 Teams for Flagship EXTRA Program

Teams will Improve Healthcare for Canadians, with Half Focusing on Palliative Care

OTTAWA, April 14, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) today announced the 10 interprofessional teams of healthcare leaders that have been chosen to participate in the 2016-17 EXTRA: Executive Training Program.

The EXTRA program is a 14-month bilingual improvement fellowship – the only one of its kind in Canada. During the intensive program, each participating team designs, implements and evaluates a major quality improvement project that is of strategic value to their organization and region, enhancing patient outcomes, quality of care and cost-effectiveness. Over more than a decade, EXTRA has supported 338 healthcare professionals from 134 organizations who have undertaken 211 improvement projects.

Six of the teams in this EXTRA cohort are from Quebec, and half of the participating teams will focus on palliative care: Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie-Ouest in Quebec will develop an approach to better support palliative care in a home setting; Le Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean is creating a shared understanding among healthcare professionals of the transition to palliative care based on patient experiences; and the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Cancer Care Nova Scotia will implement a palliative care approach in primary healthcare settings across the province.

Other projects include Providence Care, Kingston General Hospital and the South East Community Care Access Centre joining forces to establish a centralized intake and registration system for patients who require palliative care services; and The Ottawa Hospital improving patient outcomes and experiences for women who require labour induction when giving birth. Additionally, a team of professionals from the Canadian Armed Forces will revise the protocols they use to determine the health and operational fitness of soldiers who are to be deployed on military missions.

According to the federal Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation: ". . . front-line efforts to improve healthcare and augment its value are limited in part by . . . the absence of a cadre of dedicated and expert personnel who can support efforts to initiate and scale up improvements." EXTRA meets this need by building the capacity of healthcare organizations to achieve, sustain and scale improvements; enhancing the capacity of existing and emerging leaders; and creating a pan-Canadian community of healthcare leaders dedicated to improvement.

Previous EXTRA projects have generated significant improvements in patient care, health outcomes and value-for-money, and the program has served as an incubator for work that is sustained and spread across the country. EXTRA projects led by teams from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority have reduced the use of antipsychotic medication in long term care facilities and this work has been spread to homes across Canada through CFHI's Reducing Antipsychotic Medication Use in Long Term Care Collaborative. The EXTRA program is supported by numerous partner organizations. For a full list of partners, please visit CFHI's website

Read more about the 2016-17 EXTRA teams and their projects.

Learn about the EXTRA: Executive Training Program.


"Our Government is proud to support the adoption and spread of healthcare innovation through CFHI. In particular, I am pleased to see that half of the teams participating in the EXTRA program will focus on improving palliative care, which is so important to patients and their families. "
- Hon. Jane Philpott, federal Minister of Health

"Delivering better healthcare for Canadians means building the capacity of professionals and organizations to lead improvement. Through EXTRA: Executive Training Program, teams of healthcare leaders gain these skills while implementing projects in their own organizations that truly provide better patient care, health and value."
- Maureen O'Neil, O.C., President of CFHI

About CFHI

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement identifies proven innovations and accelerates their spread across Canada, improving patient care, the health of Canadians and value-for-money. These innovations could save provincial-territorial healthcare budgets over $1 billion per year. CFHI is a not-for-profit organization funded by Health Canada. Visit for more information.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada

EXTRA Media Backgrounder – Project Descriptions

The following 10 inter-professional teams have been selected to participate in the 2016-17 cohort of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement's EXTRA: Executive Training Program. Below is a description of each team's improvement project.

1. Canadian Armed Forces: Periodic Health Assessment Renewal: The Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) will address four broad areas of health, including health promotion, assessment of occupational/environmental exposures, operational readiness and diagnosis/treatment of ongoing medical issues. The improvement project will take an evidence based approach to address how best to enable a revised PHA to meet its core mandates while developing performance measures.

2. Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux Laval (QC): Implementing and Sustaining a Healthcare Level Practice: This improvement project aims to create an organizational policy related to levels of care and advanced medical directives, which the EXTRA team will deploy within their organization.

3. Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux Montérégie-Centre Ouest (QC): Providing a Structure to Integrate Pharmacists in FMGs: The project will address how to integrate pharmacists into family health teams. The problem, as identified by the team, includes emergency use related to the improper sharing of medications data. The project is also being driven by legislation that states pharmacists are to be included and integrated into family medicine teams.

4. Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux Montérégie Ouest (QC): Developing an Approach to Support Home Palliative Care: This organization's region is largely rural, and so there is a reliance on home care. Data provided by the project supporters indicates a growing importance on palliative care and an increase in the expectations of patients to be able to die at home. The project's aim is to increase the ability for people in the region to die at home if they so choose.

5. Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux Capitale Nationale: Improving the Transition Between Home Life and Hospital Life for Seniors: The goal of the improvement project is to improve transitions between home care and hospital for the elderly to improve continuity of care.

6. Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux Centre-Ouest de l'île-de-Montréal (QC): Implementing a Co-Lead Clinical System to Support the Use of Technologies within the Chronic Disease Care Pathway: The project team will seek to optimize the use of technologies in tracking and managing chronic diseases in the region. The project details many innovative means of establishing a culture of innovation and efficient organization in order to provide better care for patients and clients.

7. Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean (QC): Developing a Shared Understanding Among Professionals of the Transition to Palliative Care Based on Patient Experience: The project aims to better understand the experience and expectations of patients in the transition from acute care to palliative care. The focus on this important issue could provide new insights into how health professionals can better manage this type of transition of care.

8. The Ottawa Hospital (ON): Improving Patient Outcomes and Experience in Women Requiring Labour Induction: This project aims to find alternative solutions to inpatient labour induction. These alternative pathways will be created to improve patient outcomes, enhance patient experience, and reduce costs in those who require an inpatient stay for labour induction without compromising safety and quality of care.

9. Nova Scotia Health Authority/ Cancer Care Nova Scotia (NS): Integrating a Palliative Approach in Primary Healthcare: The team will develop and implement an operational framework to integrate a palliative approach into primary healthcare settings, changing the model of palliative care from a specialized program to a person- and family-centred approach that can be delivered in a family practice setting. Anticipated outcomes include: enhancing access to appropriate care; building capacity in family practice/primary healthcare; optimizing existing resources; role clarity in palliative care; and improving the patient and family experience.

10. Providence Care/Kingston General Hospital/South East Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) (ON): The Kingston Model: Improved Access through Centralized Intake: The project will focus on establishing a centralized point of intake and registration of patients who require palliative care services, regardless of the care environment or care provider(s). A central intake that is designed in collaboration with patients, families and partner service providers will create new opportunities to coordinate and share care plans between providers, leading to smoother transitions for patients (hospital to community).


SOURCE Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

For further information: To arrange media interviews, please contact: Joel Baglole, Senior Communications Specialist, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, C: 613-797-6481, E:


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