About Quality and Innovation

Our program exists to make primary care in Canada – and the world – even better than it is.

High quality primary care means providing care that:

  • Is timely and available when you need it
  • Meets the specific needs, preferences, and values of patients
  • Is based on the best research evidence
  • Is safe and does not accidentally harm someone
  • Is efficient and does not waste scarce healthcare resources
  • Helps everyone achieve excellent health regardless of their background or circumstances

Ultimately, we aim to improve the health outcomes and patient experience for those we serve while maintaining costs and ensuring provider wellness.

To read more about our work, download our recent annual report and explore the sections below.

Current QI Annual Report

Find past reports by expanding the Annual Reports section below.

Our Vision and Strategic Plan

Our work focuses on strengthening the “building blocks” of high-performing primary care. First, engaging our leadership to support faculty to dedicate time for QI and build capacity among faculty, learners, and community clinicians to lead QI. Second, building an infrastructure to collect, report, and learn from practice data. Third, supporting our teams to function effectively to deliver front-line care. We strive to involve patients as partners in this work, disseminate our work in scholarly and lay forums, and collaborate with government and other stakeholders to have our work influence policy and practice.

Our strategic plan highlights opportunities for:


  • Leadership — Building capacity in the current and future primary care workforce to improve quality of care.
  • Evidence — Using and generating evidence on how to improve patient experience, improve health outcomes, and reduce cost in primary care.
  • Dialogue — Working in partnership with government, clinicians, and patients to influence policy and practice provincially, nationally, and internationally.

View a visual of our workplan.

What Is Primary Care?

Every day, more than 150,000 Ontarians visit a family doctor. Some visit because they feel unwell. Others come for a preventive checkup. Many more come because they have a health condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or depression.

Family doctors listen, examine, diagnose, counsel, write prescriptions, order tests and, in some cases, refer to specialist colleagues for advice. They play a key role co-ordinating care between different health professionals and social services.

It’s not surprising that countries with strong primary care have better health outcomes and spend less on health care.

Who We Are

Visit the QI Team page to learn more about our program staff and hospital site directors, led by Dr. Tara Kiran, Vice-Chair, Quality and Innovation at DFCM, U of T.

Visit the Patient Partners at DFCM page to learn more about the QI Program's patient engagement initiatives, meet the partners, download the handbook and other materials, and find out about the research behind its creation.

Our Work to Improve Quality

Patient Advisory Committee

Interested in improving family medicine & care? Partner with us! Join our new Family Medicine Patient Advisory Committee, created by the University of Toronto’s Department of Family & Community Medicine (DFCM). Learn more and download promotional materials on the committee page.

Toronto International Conference on Quality in Primary Care

On November 16, 2019, nearly 150 local and international colleagues came together for the 2nd Toronto International Conference on Quality in Primary Care. The conference theme focused on improving equity in primary care, and speakers from around the world provided insight into the work they were doing in their local contexts to contribute to health equity. View the conference webpage to learn more. 


The Quality Improvement (QI) Program launched a qualitative research project in late 2014 asking the question: What makes primary care teams effective or high-functioning? Learn more about this initiative and read the report. 

Patient Safety

In February 2017, the Quality Program Committee (QPC) supported the use of the IHI Breakthrough Series (BTS) – a Learning Collaborative as the organizing framework for a primary care, patient safety community of practice. Read about the Primary Care Patient Safety Learning Collaborative and access resources.

SPIDER Study: Structured Process Informed by Data, Evidence and Research

The DFCM’s Quality and Innovation Program and UTOPIAN have collaborated to work with patients and their health care providers to reduce prescriptions that are less likely to benefit this population. Conversations between clinicians and patients about thoughtful medication choices can improve care for elderly people living with multiple medications. SPIDER, the Structured Process Informed by Data, Evidence and Research will test collaborative ways to have these conversations more often in family practices. 


Over the last decade, our teams have been working to understand and improve gaps in quality in their primary care practices. Explore a selection of innovation reports, commentaries, and research publications that highlight some of our efforts and summarize lessons learned.

View select publications from our faculty.

Contact Us

For all general inquiries, questions, feedback or program inquiries, contact: 

Name Title EMAIL Room #





Dr. Tara Kiran, MD, MSc, CCFP, FCFP

Fidani Chair, Improvement and Innovation &
Vice Chair, Quality Improvement


3rd floor





Erin Plenert

Program Manager


3rd floor

Marisa Schwartz

Administrative Officer


3rd floor