Dr Bruce Hobson has been HDC’s Medical Director since March 2017, but he’s been a champion for HDC since the very beginning. He was involved with the Health Data Coalition even before its precursor, the Physician Data Collaborative. After over 20 years, Dr Hobson is moving on from HDC. His dedication and passion for improving patient care using data has built a legacy we will continue to be inspired by and learn from.
His quest for data began many years ago in his office in Powell River. Dr Hobson wanted to optimize his own EMR to better understand his practice, the current state of his patients and where there was room for improvement. While he was focused on reports and dashboards within his own EMR, he was curious how his data would compare with what other physicians were doing. He envisioned collaboration with other physicians to better inform the care of patients across the province.
He connected with a physician in Prince George, Dr Bill Clifford. Dr Clifford also saw the value in bringing together patient information from multiple practices to assess patient care across the community to improve community health. The tool to do this, called AMCARE, was created in late 2007.
AMCARE was supported by the Ministry of Health, GPSC, Northern Health and the University of Northern BC. In June 2011, sponsored by GPSC, Dr Hobson, along with a diverse group of Family Physicians, academics and administrators considered how a provincial organization could support the use of data. They discussed the importance of protecting the data, offering patient and physician privacy, to move forward with quality care improvements. In early 2012, the Physicians Data Collaborative was created, a society governed by physicians, whose mandate was to develop the software tool to be able to accumulate information from any EMR.
Next came a web-based application, HDC Discover, that, over time and with support from individual physicians, Divisions of Family Practice, GPSC and EMR vendors, proved the value of data. With HDC Discover, physicians could look at anonymous information from multiple EMR vendors, from over one thousand community care providers, from every health authority across all communities supported by Divisions of Family Practice. They could use this information not only to help primary care providers analyze their own practices but also to compare them safely with other practices in their clinics, communities, health regions and the province.
Dr Hobson has played an integral role through the evolution of the Physician Data Collaborative and into the Health Data Coalition. He has truly believed in the vision of the HDC to use data to encourage self-reflection and practice improvement in patient care. His work has contributed to the development of a tool that helps physicians be masters of the services that they provide. It allows them to build their confidence and improve their own practice, educating themselves on how care can be provided to their patients and what the priorities are in their practice. Physicians can trust HDC Discover because other physicians, like Dr Hobson, are behind it and behind them, ensuring the tool is practical, meaningful and provides value to them.
We wish Dr Hobson all the best and look forward to connecting with him through his new endeavours. The board and the staff here at HDC are so grateful for the wisdom, education and vision Dr Hobson is leaving us with.
Read Bruce’s story in his recent LinkedIn article, here.