Supporting you in your Practice: Enhancing Access to Primary Health Care

**This page is no longer active. Please head to for current quality and practice support information and resources for primary health care providers and teams**

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the way primary health care is being delivered in family practices across Nova Scotia and will continue to do so. For many practices, in-person visits have been reduced and alternative virtual visit modalities have helped to increase timely access to care. As the epidemiology of the pandemic evolves, so too will the supply and demand for primary health care services.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority Primary Health Care team wants to support you to provide accessible primary health care for your patients – when and where they need it – through our enhancing access practice support strategy.

Using principles and approaches from Advanced Access scheduling and efficiency strategies, tailored to the current pandemic context, our practice support strategy is aimed at:

  • Supporting you and your team to manage increases in the need to provide in-person appointments, balanced with virtual access;
  • Exploring longer-term strategies to reduce delays for services, increase capacity for same day scheduled appointments, and improve clinic workflows and efficiencies;
  • Enhancing the experience of your patients; and
  • Improving work-life balance for you and your team.

The following resources, tools, and recordings are available for providers and teams to use / participate in at your discretion. Opportunities for tailored coaching are also available for providers and teams that have started on their access journey to work through practice-specific challenges. 

If you have any questions or are looking for additional support to apply these strategies to your practice, please email or reach out to a Primary Health Care leader in your area.

Resources and Tools to Support You

Advanced Access and Efficiency Workbook

  • Advanced Access and Efficiency Workbook (PDF download): A comprehensive guide for interested providers / teams identifying the seven steps to Advanced Access and efficiency, including measurement tools and resources.

Measurement tools and resources embedded in the Workbook are also available as separate documents for quick access (PDF downloads):

Strategies for Enhancing Access to Primary Care During COVID-19 and Beyond

  • Strategies for Enhancing Access to Primary Care During COVID-19 (PDF download): A curated list of strategies and approaches tailored to supporting you to manage your practice during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. These strategies align with the seven steps outlined in the Advanced Access and Efficiency Workbook above. This resource is intended to assist providers/teams in developing a plan to optimize clinic access and efficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as improve your experience delivering care and your patients experience when accessing services during this time.

One-Pagers (PDF downloads): Summaries of key strategies for enhancing access:

Do you have feedback about any of these resources? Suggestions for improvement? Have you had success with using any of these tools? We would love to hear from you! Please let us know if you have used any of these tools and how your experience has been via this SelectSurvey link.

Webinar Series

The webinar series, developed in partnership with primary care providers across the province, was held in June/July 2020 and focused on strategies to enhance access and efficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Webinar 1: Improve Primary Health Care Access and Efficiency in COVID-19 – Roadmap and Benefits

Featured Speakers: Dr. Steven MacDougall; Dr. Mike Wadden 

Webinar 2: Assessing your Practice to Optimize Scheduling and Office Efficiency

Featured Speakers: Dr. Roetka Gradstein; Shannon Proctor NP 

  • Recording unavailable due to technical issues

Webinar 3: The Principles of Access and Efficiency – What and How?

Featured Speaker: Dr. Bruce Hobson, Rural CPD Quality Improvement Lead and Medical Director of Program Standards, UBC CPD

Tailored Coaching

Interested in individualized advice tailored to your practice-specific access and efficiency challenges?

Opportunities for tailored coaching are available for providers and teams that have started on their access journey to work through practice-specific challenges. Schedule a 1-hour coaching session by completing this intake form.

Virtual Workshop Series

Interactive virtual workshops were held in Oct/Nov 2020 to support the practical application of access and efficiency concepts and strategies highlighted during the Webinar Series. The summary videos below review key concepts discussed at the Workshops and how you can apply them in practice.

  • Workshop 1 Summary Video (Run Time: 27:23): Assess your practice to optimize scheduling and office efficiency
  • Workshop 2 Summary Video (Run Time: 27:12): Improving office efficiency