Additional Information

Have questions or want more information about the Primary Care Panel Reports? Check out the list of FAQs and resources below.

Frequently Asked Questions

These voluntary reports provide physicians who request them with a wealth of information about the patients they see regularly. The reports do not contain any identifiable patient information. Protection of individual patient confidentiality has been paramount in their development.

  1. Go to www.BestPracticeSask.ca and click on the red “Get my report” button. 
  2. Enter your name, email address, and Saskatchewan MSB billing number. 
  3. Click “submit.” 
  4. You will receive a confirmation message by email from eHealth Saskatchewan. 
  5. Within 5 business days, you will receive a second email message – this one from BestPracticeSask@hqc.sk.ca – with your panel report attached. 
  6. You will automatically receive future reports. 

These reports were developed by the Saskatchewan Medical Association, Health Quality Council, the Saskatchewan College of Family Physicians, and the Department of Academic Family Medicine. An advisory group of family physicians provided direction on what information to include in the reports. Data for the reports were extracted from administrative health databases at the Ministry of Health and eHealth Saskatchewan under a data-sharing agreement. eHealth Saskatchewan also contributed technology and infrastructure support to this work. 

Your primary care panel report includes information about your patient population, from demographics, continuity of care, and health services use, to prescribing and more. You also get QI tools and resources to support you in clinical quality improvement. 

Your EMR is based on your practice’s perspective of your patient population. In contrast, the patient panels identified for these reports are based on each patients’ activityconsidering the family physician(s) they have seen over the report’s 3year period. Patients in your EMR may be assigned to another physicians panel for these reports if, for example, they saw another physician more often than they saw you. Additionally, patients may be assigned to you that are not in your EMR, or that you wouldn’t normally consider “your patient” if, for example, they saw you at a walkin clinic and you happen to be the last, or even the only, family physician they saw over the 3-years.   

We applied the 4-cut methodology, developed by the Alberta Health Services. This method uses billing data to assigns patients to physician panels by applying four criteria based on the frequency of their visits. All patients are assigned to only one physicians’ panel.

Your Panel:

Your panel may include patients you see regularly as well as patients you saw in a walk-in clinic or other setting. It depends on patient’s other family physician interactions. 

The report reflects health service use and the corresponding patient population for three years. The 2020 report covers January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019. Our goal is to make the reports available annually, each based on the most recent 3 years. 

At this point, no. At present, Saskatchewan has not officially “empanelled” patients. In other provinces, this has been done by having patients confirm in writing that a specific family physician is “their” physician, thus adding that patient to the physician’s panel. Once all patients have officially ‘attached’ themselves to a physician, “validated” panels can be used to create reports such as this one. As this has not been widely done in Saskatchewan, physician-generated panels could unintentionally include or exclude patients. The 4-cut method outlined above is based on patient activity. At present, physicians are often not aware of whom else patients may be seeing. For example, you may consider “Jane” your patient, but you may not be aware that she has actually had more visits with another physician over the past few years. As a result, if all physicians provided their panel lists, she may be on both your and your peer’s list. In another scenario, you may not consider “Joe” as a member of your panel because you only saw him a couple of times at a walk in clinic, but you might not realized that you are the only physician he has seen in the past few years. Thus, a panel you generate may omit him, but then he wouldn’t appear on any panel and his health care would be omitted from all reports.  

Due to these complexities and nuances of the panel’s, at this time we don’t develop reports based on physician-generated panels. 

No. While we recognize that NPs are a critical component of the whole picture, and in some cases do similar work as FPs, and even have their own patient panels, panel reports are currently only available for Family Physicians. This is not a reflection of the value of NPs; the program thus far does not include reports for specialists (e.g. cardiologists) of any sort either.  

Developing reports for NPs is hindered by a couple of factors. First, they aren’t paid fee for service. Some of them do submit shadow billing records, but we don’t know what percent of NP activity is and is not reported. Second, while some of the NPs who have been in practice for a number of years have individual billing numbers, newer NPs share a number, so we can’t differentiate nurses’ activity (hundreds of nurses could be using the same number.) 

No. We have received this request and are investigating the feasibility of this. 

We use your billing code to attach patients to your panel. We then find these patients’ health service use and prescribing information within administrative databases. 

No one except you. And you will only receive a panel report if you request one and no one else will receive or see it. 

Curiosity is wonderful! While we are limited in the amount of detail and the number of different ways we can “cut” the data for the ‘print’ version of the report, we are working towards providing physicians with access to an electronic version. That version, hosted in MicroStrategy, would enable you to drill down into your report’s indicators to obtain further detail. For example, you may want to see the proportion of your panel who say only you and were female, or saw you the most divided by age, and so on. We will continue working toward providing the electronic version and will share the news when it is ready. 

The following table provides details regarding the date each site began contribution data to the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS). As the Panel Reports include data from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019. As result, those shown below that began contributing data in 2020 and shaded grey are not included in this version of the panel report and the data for sites that began contributing data within the report time period are not complete (shown in bold). 

Send an email to BestPracticeSask@hqc.sk.ca. Someone from the Health Quality Council will follow up with you, to help you get answers to your questions or connect you with the appropriate supports. 

Technical Appendix

Here is a document that includes a technical appendix of useful terms to help you understand your Panel Report

Additional Resources

Want to get involved?

The Primary Care Practice Report is created by physicians for physicians. Want to participate? Join our Physician Expert Panel and add your voice and input to next year’s report.

Email bestpracticesask@hqc.sk.ca for more information.

Questions? Contact Us

sonia-headshot

Sonia Vanderby

Health Quality Council
Phone: 306-668-8810 ext 147
Email: svanderby@hqc.sk.ca

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Andrea MacKay

Saskatchewan Medical Association
Phone: 306-657-4588
Email: andrea.mackay@sma.sk.ca

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