New COACH Clinician Forum Launching at e-Health 2013

COACH understands, appreciates and provides encouragement for clinicians as strategic stakeholders in the association’s vision of Taking Health Informatics Mainstream. From the inception of the organization, our clinician colleagues within COACH, along with clinician professional associations and related organizations at the national and jurisdictional levels, have made important and enduring contributions to COACH products and services over the years.

Enhancing clinician engagement has been a growing focus of our association, with past Board Directors Maureen Charlebois and Marion Lyver providing strong support, and Board formation of the Clinician Advisory Committee in 2011. In addition, the Clinician Symposium was very successful at last year’s e-Health Conference. Since that time, the committee has been working actively to further enable the development and realization of a formal community for COACH clinician members along with a range of products, services and activities.

At a meeting of COACH clinician members this past February in Toronto, physician, nurse and pharmacist professionals from across Canada met with COACH staff to discuss and reach consensus on how to further evolve and formally support clinicians within COACH.

At that meeting, the following topics were discussed:

  • The vision and mission for a clinician community within COACH, with a focus on the current state, the objective future state, what success looks like along the way, and potential liaisons and/or partnerships internally within COACH (e.g., with other COACH Forums, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Communities of Interest (CoIs)), as well as externally (e.g., with clinical professional associations and initiatives).
  • A series of five case studies, which profiled particular, value-add “wants and needs” opportunities for clinicians with COACH. These case studies cover particular topic areas: procurement, standards, telehealth, emerging health professionals, and health informatics (HI) competency, where clinicians’ knowledge and involvement is key.
  • The parameters of a clinician-focused COACH online forum to support ongoing dialogue amongst clinicians, as well as to host specific discussions on particular topics, challenges opportunities and sharing of knowledge.
  • Draft objectives and activities that would form the basis of an overall, formal program work plan, and;
  • The agenda and line-up of speakers for the e-Health 2013 Clinician Symposium agenda, where the new COACH clinician community is being launched.

At its meeting in Vancouver this past April, the COACH Board received and approved the clinician program work plan and related undertakings coming out of the Feb. 25 meeting described above, and approved the creation of a new Forum, the COACH Clinician Forum (CCF).

This new Forum will sustain an instrumental, integral multi-disciplinary HI clinician community that:

  • Advances and influences clinical aspects of HI;
  • Engages and supports clinicians to advance their HI competency throughout their careers;
  • Identifies, provides and promotes the exchange of best HI practices amongst clinicians; and
  • Supports collegial interaction, work and mutual interest advancements with COACH and other healthcare organization endeavours.

The CCF will take its place in the COACH organization along with the CTF: Canadian Telehealth Forum CHIEF: Canada’s Health Informatics Executive Forum and the eHIP: Emerging Health Informatics Professionals Forum.

In fiscal year 2013-14, the CCF will identify key partner organizations and individuals to look for synergy forward to advance HI to the mainstream through meaningful clinician engagement. The Forum will also be organizing and hosting a variety of projects and activities, including an “HI Primer for Clinicians” publication, a series of regional (i.e., Western, Central and Eastern Canada) clinician HI Symposium days, along with an ongoing series of “HI for Clinicians” webinars. Through these and other activities, the Forum will work to increase clinician membership in COACH, while facilitating colleague awareness and supporting peer-to-peer knowledge exchange. In this latter respect, the CCF will also provide clinical expertise and input/feedback to COACH Forums, SIGs and projects on an ongoing basis.

While “start-up” work has already begun on the CCF, we also invite all COACH members, in particular clinicians, to join us in Ottawa on the morning of Monday, May 27 for the Clinician Symposium and the formal launch of the new COACH Clinician Forum, as well as to enjoy the strong line-up of clinician-related topics and presentations throughout the rest of the conference program.

For more information about the CCF, please contact Grant Gillis, Executive Director, Forums and Practices, COACH,, phone (416) 494-9324/1-888-253-8554,ext 228.

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