Seeing practice from every angle
February 25, 2019
MCC’s multi-source feedback tool “MCC 360” celebrates its first year
Assessment of physicians is expanding beyond education and training to assessment along the continuum of a medical career. The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has completed its first year of offering a critical component of in-practice evaluation — multi-source feedback.
Commonly used to evaluate executives and professionals in areas other than medicine, multi-source feedback involves looking at performance from a 360-degree perspective — that’s why the new program is called MCC 360. Through MCC 360, physician colleagues, non-physician co-workers, and patients are asked about various aspects of each physician’s communication, collaboration and professionalism.
From pilot to program
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) with the University of Calgary originally created the Physician Achievement Review (PAR) evaluation tool in 1999 on which MCC 360 is based. Fittingly, Alberta physicians formed a first-year cohort of MCC 360 users for the program pilot, which has now drawn to a close.
The CPSA has been a true partner. We have established a close relationship and it’s clear we are all committed to mutual success, an investment in pan-Canadian collaboration.”
Program Manager for MCC 360, MCC
According to Ms. Fotheringham, the first year led to many learnings around:
- generating the report for each physician participant
- determining the time physicians needed to complete various tasks in the process
- responding to the needs of participants and their organizations
In 2019, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba will begin their use of MCC 360, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia will pilot a physician group. The MCC 360 team will also be piloting with regional health authorities and hospitals interested in using the tool, and is embarking on research with four Canadian medical schools to determine the feasibility of using MCC 360 for undergraduate medical students.
“We’re also exploring how physicians can self-select even if they are not doing it through a college, regional health authority, or hospital with the incentive of continuing professional development credits,” mentions Ms. Fotheringham.
Much more than surveys and reports
At the core of MCC 360 is a set of surveys taken by physician colleagues, non-physician co-workers and patients, as well as a self-assessment completed by the physician. The survey responses are collated and analyzed to yield a report that the physician may use to plan professional education and development. A key feature of MCC 360 is the inclusion of narrative, comments from the survey responders. Physicians have indicated that those free-text comments are especially valuable in terms of identifying opportunities to improve.
A feedback and coaching session, provided by the participating organization, helps the physician understand and act on their MCC 360 results. Organizations can also opt to receive customized coaching services by experienced facilitators through MCC’s partner Saegis. Saegis’ coaching includes the development of a personalized action plan. “In the facilitated feedback session, the participants are encouraged to reflect on what they are doing well and what others have indicated they could improve upon, and to develop an action plan and follow through,” explains Ms. Fotheringham.
Furthermore, MCC 360 supports those feedback facilitators, who are typically other physicians although non-physicians may also take on this role. “We’ve developed tools for an organization to train their facilitators,” adds Ms. Fotheringham. “We also generate a tip sheet that pulls out salient points at a high level from the MCC 360 reports so that an organization’s facilitators can plan their session with each physician.”
Physicians using MCC 360 are reporting satisfaction, particularly with the patient feedback and the feedback facilitation process. A majority feel the experience promoted improvements to their practice. With a research agenda that supports program improvements, there will be further quantitative and qualitative research evaluation of the program, starting with the data from this first year.
If the first year of MCC 360 is any indication, the MCC is making strides towards its vision of a national multi-source feedback program that will be improving medicine and patient care.