The West End Quality Improvement Collaboration is a partnership of six community health centres in Toronto that was established with the goal of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery by working alongside one another on quality indicators. Community health centres are funded to serve the most marginalized populations, which include people living in poverty, homeless people, street-involved people, newcomers and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning) people. In year 1 of the initiative, we chose to focus on cancer screening rates. After the results were analyzed and we had started to see improvement in these rates, we overlaid an equity analysis to ensure that our marginalized populations were screened at similar rates. This case study will examine the steps taken to get to these outcomes and the lessons learned for collaborative practice for quality improvement. This includes understanding the importance of collaboration, including group dynamics and a culture of learning from each other, investing time and the role of expertise, all with the ultimate result of improved client care.
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