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A rural BC transport study will determine the timeliness of transport from rural communities to definitive care for specific clinical conditions.

Rural Patient Transport
Timely patient transport is critical to providing quality emergency care. It is a basic tenet of the modern health care system. Recently, the BC Ministry of Health formed the Rural Patient Transport and Transfer Working Group to examine provincial transport services, identify issues, and recommend solutions. The recommendations arising from this group, currently under review by the Standing Committee on Health Services and Public Health, concern governance, paramedic deployment, regional services, and destination policies.

The Study and BC EM Network Support
In early 2019, during an EM Network visit to Fort St. James, local physicians raised issues surrounding patient transport. This meeting led to an idea for a study on rural transport with the aim to generate data to guide system improvements. Over the next six months, the EM Network worked closely with a multisite and interdisciplinary research team led by Dr. Anthon Meyer. We provided guidance and methodologic support during the development of the study.

Study Purpose
The purpose of the Rural BC Transport Study is to determine the timeliness of transport from Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, and Mackenzie to definitive care for specific clinical conditions. For each of these conditions it is well known that the time to interventions is related to a patient’s outcome. The conditions under consideration are ST elevation myocardial infarction, life-threatening trauma, respiratory failure, and suicidal ideation or other severe mental health conditions. The findings from this study will inform policymakers and support specific improvements that align with the BC Ministry of Health’s strategic direction to improve rural care. Ultimately, improvements in rural transport may also improve recruitment and retention of rural emergency practitioners by better supporting their care of critically ill patients.

The findings from this study will inform policymakers, and support specific improvements that align with the BC Ministry of Health’s strategic direction to improve rural care.

Support for BC Researchers
The BC EM Network Innovation Program is committed to supporting EM Network members throughout BC who are interested in advancing or supporting research activities. On the EM Network Research page, you can find information on EM Network-led research programs, other noteworthy research going on across BC, and research participation opportunities. This area also includes a research support page including helpful tools and guidance on the research process. If you’re a BC EM Network member and have a study idea you’d like help with, we’d love to hear from you!

Research drives innovation… And innovation drives the BC EM Network.

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