In the words of Sophocles, “no one longs to live more than someone growing old.” Thanks to medical advances over the last decade, nowadays it seems living longer is inevitable. But with longevity comes an aging population – one that encounters health problems typically specific to older adults. That’s where Geriatricians come in.
Did you know that a health crisis requiring a trip to Emergency (ER) may include being shackled and escorted by police? That’s what can happen when it is a mental health crisis that occurs in public, usually with vulnerable populations, such as the homeless. Recognizing this issue, Dr. Matthew Chow, a psychiatrist with Providence Health teamed with Inspector Howard Tran of the Vancouver Police Department to determine a better response and treatment approach.
For more than a year, 11 BC surgical sites across all health authorities worked together as the BC Enhanced Recovery Collaborative to improve patient recovery after colorectal surgery by implementing 21 evidence-based processes of care. Compliance to these processes resulted in reducing complication rates from 32% to 22% and shortening hospital stays by two days without affecting readmission rates.
Dr. Carolyn Shiau, a pathologist working out of Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH) was tired of hearing “because that’s the way it is always done” when looking to make improvements. In April 2015, she joined the Physician Quality and Regional Safety Team (PQRST) – an initiative funded by SSC to support physician engagement through quality improvement in Fraser Health.
About 400 people registered – including 80 specialist physicians. They all took part in the first ever Joint Collaborative/Clinical Committees (JCCs) Showcase this February in Vancouver. Participants shared the successes and lessons learned from the range of collaborative work being done in partnership with Doctors of BC, the provincial government, health authorities and local communities
For most, spring means blooming flowers and blossoming trees. But for the 20% of the population who suffer from allergies, the season means sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, even asthma. While many allergies can be controlled with the occasional use of an over-the-counter medication, some can interfere with day-to-day activities, can decrease a person’s quality of life and in certain circumstances even be life threatening. That’s where an Allergist or Immunologist comes in.
Diversity is great for our eco-system. The same can be said for our health care system – diversity makes it stronger. Recently, a diverse group of specialities came together for a learning session in Victoria. The specialities are embarking on a Quality Improvement (QI) project that will enhance access to specialist consults through centralized referrals across five specialities from different BC regions.
Desire – it’s the key ingredient to make change happen. The Enhanced Recovery Collaborative is a collection of physicians, nurses, administrators, and allied health care providers with the desire to build the Enhanced Recovery capacity in BC’s surgical programs. Enhanced Recovery protocols are multi-modal perioperative care pathways designed to achieve early recovery after surgical procedures.
It took two external evaluations, along with consultations with individual specialists, two-thirds of the specialist sections and a number of other stakeholders to identify ways to improve the SSC fees. The enhanced fees focus on increasing Specialists' capacity, improving coordination of care, and improving patient access to Specialists’ expertise. The fees become a reality in the next month or so.
SSC approved the funding of over 30 projects through its Expression of Interest process. Recognizing that big changes can come from small ideas, SSC is supporting physician- driven ideas and prototypes that have the potential for broader health system impact. $15M has been put towards supporting and growing specialists’ quality improvement ideas.
We’ve seen television shows like ER glamourize the life of an emergency room physician. Depicting a scene of coordinated chaos in which everything – more or less – always goes according to plan. But the reality is much different. From minor cuts and bruises to traumatic life and death situations, ER physicians never know what will come through the doors. Every shift and every patient is like a game of chance.
Therefore, ER doctors must be prepared for all situations and be able to function under some of the most extreme circumstances – all while performing at the top of their game.
It’s no surprise that it is important to keep a laser-focus on quality and safety to ensure patient care is maintained and enhanced.
When we pass by a school or park and see children playing, it is very difficult to think of these healthy, happy little people as ever becoming ill. Unfortunately they do, which is why we have a Pediatric specialty. The word “paediatrics” literally means “healer of children”.
When the first round of SSC Quality and Innovation Initiative funding became available, Drs Jonathan Down and Gudrun Aubertin knew what they wanted to do. Both Victoria-based physicians, Dr. Down, a developmental pediatrician and Dr. Aubertin, a clinical geneticist saw a great need to develop a multidisciplinary Fragile X and Related Conditions Clinic.
Our ability to hear, to speak, to smell or to swallow are senses that many can take for granted. But imagine losing the ability to hear a child’s laughter or to smell your favourite foods. While perhaps not life threatening, such things can significantly affect our ability to enjoy even life’s simplest pleasures.
The new Physician Master Agreement (PMA) has brought something original to Canada. Funding that enables facility-based doctors to be more effectively engaged to contribute their voice in Health Authority decisions. The goal of this new funding is to seek collaboration on mutually agreed upon priorities that improve patient care and the health care system. The Specialist Services Committee has the responsibility of overseeing this initiative and distributing funding.
Probably no other speciality relies more on its multidisciplinary teams than Infectious Diseases (ID), from health care workers to housekeepers. “We need cohesive care teams to address complex global infectious disease challenges,” says Dr Dwight Ferris, President of the BC Infectious Diseases Society, “not act simply as a local resource but as a global community.” According to Dr Ferris, the biggest challenge facing the speciality today is globalization. “Worldwide pandemics develop quickly, and what happens on the other side of the world can easily affect us here in BC.”