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Manitoba expands program for networking doctors

WINNIPEG – When Manitoba invited physician practices to participate in its Physician Integrated Network pilot earlier this year, the response to the request for Applications of Interest exceeded expectations. Due to the positive response to the PIN Initiative, Manitoba Health increased the number of potential demonstration sites from two to four sites.

The four group practice sites that will be participating as demonstration sites in the PIN Initiative are:

• Brandon Clinic Medical Corporation

• Agassiz Medical Centre in Morden

• Dr. C.W. Wiebe Medical Centre in Winkler

• Assiniboine Clinic in Winnipeg

Group practices that expressed an interest in the PIN initiative, but will not be an initial demonstration site have been invited to participate as the implementation plan evolves. The PIN Resource Team has begun working with the demonstration sites during the development phase of the implementation plan. The work will be guided by the newly formed PIN Advisory Committee.

Work tasks currently under way include:

• An environmental scan

• Establishing communication links with identified stakeholders (i.e., wait list strategy representatives, E-health representatives) to ensure alignment with provincial strategies that impact the development of the PIN initiative.

• Development of an evaluation framework.

• Updates will be provided as significant milestones are reached in the development of the initiative. Progress will be reported on the Manitoba Health website and other communication channels provided through members of the Advisory Committee.

One of Manitoba Health’s strategic priorities is the need to address primary care renewal. One strategy includes the development of Physician Integrated Networks (PIN), which have been evolving under the guidance of an Advisory Committee with representation from the University of Manitoba; the Colleges of Registered Nurses and Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba; the Manitoba Medical Association; the Winnipeg and Assiniboine Regional Health Authorities and other primary care stakeholders.

The Physician Integrated Network initiative will focus on the engagement of fee-for-service physician groups. The objectives of this initiative are:

• To improve access to primary care,

• To improve primary care providers’ access to and use of information systems,

• To improve the working environment for all primary care providers, and

• To demonstrate high quality primary care with a specific focus on Chronic Disease management.

Initiative Status – September 2006
In June 2006 the initiative solicited group practice sites interested in actively participating in the development and implementation of this initiative. This was accomplished through a mailing of the Initiative Summary, Site Selection Criteria and an Application of Interest to all family physicians in Manitoba. Interested fee-for-service group medical practices were asked to complete an Application of Interest form and submit it by Friday, June 30, 2006. Further information is available at: