The Radiology Shared Care project focused on optimizing patient referral through partnering with IH to update directories of interventional procedures and adopting diagnostic imaging referral guidelines. (Canadian Association of Radiologists Referral Guidelines and IHA DI Interventional Procedures by site now available to all GPs.)
Continuing Medical Education (CME) in radiology also played an important role in increasing collaboration between GPs and SPs, and included: video rounds with Dr. Steenkamp reviewing CT Colonography (Click here to view the recording (40m)); webinar with Dr. Anders Merg on cumulative radiation load (Click here to view the recording (37m)); Radiology presentation at regional conference in Rossland; and rounds with Dr. Gonzalo Ansede on Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Techniques.
Working in partnership with Interior Health, we strengthened ties between referring practitioners and specialists, acknowledging the essential part GP/SP relationships play in both improving professional satisfaction of primary health care providers and providing better patient care.
This year, the Orthopedics Shared Care project continued to build upon previous work completed around referral processes (cast clinic and referral acknowledgement form) by developing an Orthopedics to GP Transfer Care Form for transfer of care between hospitals. The form was developed in partnership with orthopedic surgeons and IHA administration.
Improved referral processes play an important role in improving relationships between GPs and Orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Brian Moulson commented, "I was recently at the Society of General Practitioners meeting in Vancouver, where we were talking about GP relationships with Orthopedic Surgeons. I told them about the Orthopedic Referral Acknowledgement Form we are using in Kootenay Boundary. There wasn't a GP in the room who didn't wish they had it.”
Duration of Orthopedics wait times continue to be an issue but a new web based interface called Pathways is being developed in Kootenay Boundary for 2015 which will allow for increased efficiencies and patient empowerment in the referral process.
The Shared Care project work to improve communications for the repatriation of patients from the Kelowna Cath lab to the Kootenay Boundary, in particular KBRH patients, has been underway since 2012. During that time we have held joint meetings four times between KBRH hospitalists and intensivists, and the Cardiac Network staff, medical director and cardiologists in Kelowna; created process maps at the two hospital locations; completed interviews with nine patients on their experience to map the patient's journey; and KBRH department heads implemented communications changes requested by Kelowna cardiologists. After further discussions between the Cardiac team and KBRH representatives, there was an agreement to review the CATH referral form. Revisions to the form were presented to the Cardiac Network in early 2014.
In KBRH practice over the past year, improvements in the communications with the Kelowna teams have been reported, which was the intent of the work we initiated. Work in this focus area will be concluded with a final report going to the provincial committee in late 2014. A proposal for using remaining project funds to create options for a Trail-based itinerate cardiac clinic, similar to the existing model in Nelson, is being explored.