Group of physicians speaking

The GPSC Information Sharing Task Group committed to providing you with updates on the ongoing development of a draft Integrated Activity Agreement (IAA) and the work underway to pilot the agreement within Primary Care Networks (PCNs). For the last several months we have been working on launching a pilot of the IAA with Kootenay Boundary.

The Information Activity Agreement (IAA) will be piloted in select PCNs and is not currently being rolled out broadly. Building on that experience, we will work towards finalizing and sharing an IAA that can be used by PCNs across the province. If your PCN is interested in being a pilot site for the IAA please contact .

Here are some common questions about the IAA:

What is the IAA?

Sharing identifiable patient information is integral to planning, implementing, evaluating, and delivering comprehensive care within PCNs. In addition to sharing information for direct patient care, PCNs may desire to share information amongst their PCN partners for quality improvement (QI), evaluation, and/or planning purposes. The IAA provides the legal framework for public providers (i.e., health authorities) and private providers (i.e., physician practices) to share identifiable information with each other and enable data-driven improvements to the PCN leading to improved patient outcomes.

What is the purpose of the IAA?

The IAA provides the legal framework that bridges the gap between the two privacy legislations, that exist for the public sector (FOIPPA) and the private sector (PIPA).

How would Information Sharing affect my practice?

For specific projects, an Information Sharing Plan (ISP) will be developed by the interested parties, which defines the scope, details, and accountabilities of each analytic project, including what information will be shared, how it will be used and kept secure, and what will happen to the collected data once the project is finished. The ISP must be signed by the parties who participate in the project and only information specified in the ISP can be shared and analysed. Projects can be local to a community or provincial in scope.

For example, a Health Authority and private practices could share linked identifiable information about patients with a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), who present to the Emergency Department with a COPD exacerbation. This could provide the PCN with data to support creating an outreach program to patients with COPD in order to generate COPD Action Plans, conduct severity reassessments, and even offer weekly SMS check-ins about immunizations and current respiratory status during the fall/winter months.

What are the overall benefits of the IAA and Information Sharing?

  • Improves patient care.
  • Allows for more efficient use of resources.
  • Identifies previously unknown gaps and care opportunities that may not be known until the patient’s complete journey through the healthcare system is understood.

What are the benefits of the IAA and Information Sharing for physicians?

There are four primary benefits the IAA aims to achieve for physicians:

  1. Confidence that patient data is handled in a secure and respectful manner, consistent with privacy legislation, throughout its analysis journey;
  2. Improved care for patients as all PCN stakeholders can use patients’ journeys through the health care system when planning services;
  3. An ability to access data from other stakeholders in order to dive into data-driven research;
  4. The ability to compare their own practices to others’ practices (anonymously), ask the question “Why am I different (than the average)?”, have the data necessary to answer the question, and improve care quality in their own practice, and even potentially throughout the system.

What are the next steps?

We are currently working with Kootenay Boundary PCN to initiate the first pilot of the draft IAA. Over the course of the year, we will support additional pilots with two other PCNs. Building on that experience, we will work towards finalizing and sharing an IAA that can be used by PCNs across the province. We are also developing new resources and supports that will help PCNs implement the IAA and engage in broader information sharing.

How can I learn more?

We will continue to provide updates on the progress of this work and hold engagement opportunities as required in the future. In the meantime, please direct any questions or feedback to .