Rural Health Services Research Network of BC 

Funded through the Rural Coordination Centre of BC

February 2015 | Issue 42

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Dear RHSRNbc members,

Hello from the RHSRNbc team!  We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and a smooth transition back to work and school in January.  We are busy planning several exciting events this year - workshops, symposiums, and conferences in BC and across Canada, all highlighted in this newsletter.  If you are looking for upcoming abstract submission deadlines please see our new section below!

This month we are featuring Drs. Shane Barclay and Paula Ryan, family physicians from Saltspring Island and the BCConsultDerm project.  Happy reading and, as always, feel free to contact us with any questions and/or suggestions!

Warm regards,
Emily Ryan, Network Coordinator
Teledermatology in BC 
Dr. Rob Brunelle uses his iPhone to take a photo of a patient's skin lesions to send to a consulting Dermatologist via BCConsultDerm.
A six-month wait to see a dermatologist is a thing of the past in many rural communities in British Columbia.  Drs. Shane Barclay and Paula Ryan, Family Physicians on Saltspring Island, are pioneering the teledermatology project in BC, BCConsultDerm– improving access to specialists through a user-friendly, efficient online system.

The teledermatology initiative in BC started four years ago when Dr. Barclay faced significant challenges in finding a dermatologist to take consults. Dr. Barclay reached out to Dr. Jaggi Rao, a dermatologist from the University of Alberta who was actively involved in teledermatology projects in rural Canada, overseas, and with special populations. Drs. Barclay and Rao collaborated with Dr. Ryan and secured funding from the Shared Care Committee, a Doctors of BC/Ministry of Health partnership supporting family and specialist collaboration to bring a teledermatology project to BC.  There are now 700 physicians and nurse practitioners in BC that use the teledermatology platform to access 11 dermatologists with a goal turnaround time of approximately 48 hours. 

BCConsultDerm uses an online platform to facilitate the consult process.  A care provider simply logs into their online account to upload a photo and description with relevant patient history then hits submit.  The consulting dermatologist then logs into the same system to review the case and provide further direction to the care provider. 

In implementing this program, Drs. Barclay and Ryan noted that training care providers in very remote locations has been a challenge and are addressing this by visiting as many communities as possible. Additionally, both physicians highlighted that integrating this program into EMR (an initiative already underway in Alberta) would increase the efficiency of the system by pre-populating patient information into BCConsultDerm. 

What’s next for BCConsultDerm?  With the current teledermatology project growing, Drs. Barclay and Ryan are hoping to pilot and introduce a collaboration of teledermatology and dermoscopy, an initiative tried and proven in Australia to enhance the quality of teledermatology consults.  The two physicians will be piloting this combination in the next couple of months in their practice on Saltspring Island.

The Shared Care Teledermatology project increases access to specialist care, facilitates professional and educational relationships between family physicians and dermatologists, and enhances patient care through fast-tracked consultations.  The success and growth of BCConsultDerm in just four years is simply another example of how physicians like Drs. Barclay and Ryan are innovatively changing their practice to improve not only health outcomes, but patient experiences with the health care system in BC’s rural communities.

This is the second article published in the RHSRNbc newsletter highlighting innovative and exciting telehealth programs. The goals of the network are to build health services research capacity and we need more research underpinning health service programs based on the IHI Triple Aims of improving the patient experience of care, improving population health, and reducing the cost of health care. The Teledermatolgy project described in this article is a great example of what seems like a productive direction for rural health services to take.  It invites evaluative research and innovative thinking about other programs we could develop. We look forward to featuring the work. 
Rural Healthcare through the Locum Lens
Feb 26-28, 2015 | Nanaimo, BC |
Click here for conference registration

We spoke to Kathy Copeman-Stewart, Executive Director for the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, about this upcoming event for rural locums in BC and those interested in becoming a rural locum.  Kathy highlighted that the day will be an opportunity for rural locums to network, learn together, and share their perspectives on improving rural health services.  CME credit will be available for rural locums and physicians. A number of rural health programs and organizations (such as the Network!) will be on-site. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Upcoming Events

Rural Healthcare through the Locum Lens
Feb 26-28, 2015 | Nanaimo, BC | More info here
This event is targeted to rural locums in BC and those interested in becoming a rural locum. This three day conference will focus specifically on the needs and challenges of rural locum work in BC. There will be multiple CPD opportunities specifically targeted to the rural locum perspective.

Canadian Critical Care Conference
Feb 24-27, 2015 | Whistler, BC | More info here
This CAS, JFICM, and AACME accredited conference features numerous courses, workshops, and meetings.  Registration is open!

SRPC Rural and Remote Medicine Course & Rural Summit on Generalism
April 8-11, 2015 | Montreal, QC |  More information here
The Second World Summit on Rural Generalist Medicine (April 8-9) is a follow-up to the first summit held in Cairns, Australia in 2013 and aims to strengthen healthcare systems in rural communities by promoting the practice of rural generalist medicine.

The Rural and Remote Medicine Course (April 9-11) is a conference that offers more than 150 small group sessions, hands-on workshops, and Rural Critical Care modules.  It also provides an opportunity for rural practitioners from across Canada to meet and network.

Medical Disorders and Pregnancy Conference
April 18, 2015 | Vancouver, BC | More information here
This conference is geared to all those interested in advancing their knowledge in the medicine of pregnancy and motherhood including: obstetricians, perinatologists, family physicians, internists and subspecialists, obstetric anesthesiologists, midwifes, maternity nurses, residents and students.

Over the course of the day attendees will be provided with a focused, expert review of common medical conditions in pregnancy and to provide practical strategies for their management.  Recent evidence, resources and clinical guidelines to support decision making will be highlighted.

RECC: Rural Emergency Continuum of Care
May 22-23, 2015 | Pentiction BC | More information here
Rural health practitioners, administrators, and health educators are all invited to learn about rural emergency medicine, physician support initiatives, and wilderness medicine. Registration will open at the end of February 2015.

Recent Publications

MENEC, V. H., HUTTON, L., NEWALL, N., NOWICKI, S., SPINA, J., & VESELYUK, D. (2015). How ‘age-friendly’are rural communities and what community characteristics are related to age-friendliness? The case of rural Manitoba, Canada. Ageing and Society, 35(01), 203-223.

Record, N. B., Onion, D. K., Prior, R. E., Dixon, D. C., Record, S. S., Fowler, F. L., ... & Pearson, T. A. (2015). Community-wide cardiovascular disease prevention programs and health outcomes in a rural county, 1970-2010. JAMA, 313 (2), 147-155.

Willox, A. C., Stephenson, E., Allen, J., Bourque, F., Drossos, A., Elgarøy, S., ... & Wexler, L. (2015). Examining relationships between climate change and mental health in the Circumpolar North. Regional Environmental Change, 15(1), 169-182.
In this newsletter:
-Teledermatology in BC
-Upcoming Events
-Abstract Submission Deadlines
-Funding Opportunities
-In the News
-Recent publications
Upcoming Abstract Submission Deadlines

1) Second Annual Summit on Rural Generalism (April 8-9, 2015 in Montreal, QC).  Deadline: February 15, 2015.  More information here.

2)  Critical Care Transport Medicine Conference (April 20-22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina).  Deadline: March 20, 2015.  More information here.

3)  Association of Critical Care Nurses Medical Conference (September 2015 in Winnipeg, MB).  Deadline: January 31, 2015.  More information here.

4)  NAPCRG 2015 Annual Meeting (October 24-28, 2015 in Cancun, Mexico).  Deadline: April 17, 2015.  More information here.
Interested in attending the World Summit on Rural Medicine 2015 in Montreal?  

The Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC) has approved funding of $1000 for each rural doctor who is interested in attending both of the following events:
1) SRPC Annual Rural and Remote Medicine Course (April 9-11) in conjunction with;
2) The 2nd Annual World Summit on Rural Generalist Medicine (April 8-9)

More info here
Rural Rounds Videoconferencing 

The theme for Spring 2015 is Emergency Room Cases. More information and registration here.

In the News

The Enhanced Surgical Skills Working Group launched a national website for Canada's Enhanced Surgical Skills (ESS) - a new podcast "Really Rural Surgery" included!

Thoughts on organ donation in Canada

Truck stop health care fills a void for drivers & farmers in rural Virginia.  Dr. Marsh's story. 

In the midst of a measles outbreak, Californian pediatrician refuses to see anti-vaccine parents

Obama proposes $215 million project for 'precision medicine' to tailor treatment to individual genes

Physician does an about face based on her own research regarding high blood pressure management during pregnancy

A rural doc's response to a patient's and community's heartfelt thank you

Funding Opportunities

Island Health Collaborative Research Grant Competition

More information here. Deadline: March 16 @ 4pm

RHSRNbc Travel Bursary Competition

The RHSRNbc offers four bursaries to RHSRNbc members who have been invited to present their rural health services research at a conference. Find the application on our website.
Copyright © 2015 Rural Health Services Research Network of BC, All rights reserved.

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