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.
Police and doctors team to help most vulnerable
Enhanced recovery is gaining momentum
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.
Spotlight on a Specialty – Gastroenterology
Dr Martin Fishman, President of the BC Society of Gastroenterology, became interested in his specialty for two main reasons: “Because it offers a balance between cognitive and procedural work, and because I had great mentors.”
Quality Improvement through PQRST
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.
JCC Showcase – exchanging ideas for better health care
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
Spotlight on a Specialty – Allergy and Immunology
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.
SSC-Sponsored Initiative: Pooled resource/central intake EOI learnings
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.
ERAS Collaborative: managing change
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.
Spotlight on a Specialty: Psychiatry
The mind is the most complex part of us. And while we can pinpoint the origin of illness in practically every organ of our body - psychiatrists are more challenged. How do they locate a mood, thoughts or what drives behaviour?
Enhanced SSC fees improve patient care
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.
Over 30 specialist-led quality improvement ideas are funded
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.
Spotlight on a Specialty – Emergency Medicine
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.
Better data leads to improved access
When we think of health care – data is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, many physicians would likely agree that data is integral to evaluating and improving the delivery of health care.
New FH team keeps a focus on quality improvement
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.
Spotlight on a Specialty: Pediatrics
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”.
Diversity needed for challenging condition
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.
Spotlight on a Specialty: Otolaryngology
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.
New PMA funding - it’s about collaboration
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.
Spotlight on a Specialty: Infectious Diseases
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.”
Capturing and Growing Q&I Ideas
An important part of SSC’s work includes supporting and growing specialist’s quality and innovation (Q&I) ideas. This work has been going on for more than two years. Initially, $8 million funded about 20 Q&I projects, and now $15 million is available for another round of Q&I projects.