Board is briefed about Interior Health’s Transport Division

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The regional district board received an update on activities in Interior Health’s Medical Transport Division at last Thursday’s board meeting.

Brent Hobbs of IHA’s Medical Transport Division was on hand to update the board.

The division continues to encounter difficulties retaining rural ambulance staff. A new model is required, one that creates new employment opportunities that are in addition to the emergency 911 function.

Multiple “silos” of duties within the health organization are a concern. It is recognized in the department that there is a need for  health care practioners to integrate their various duties in order to provide optimal patient care.

The division continues working towards a single provincial agency for coordinating patient transfers by looking at four factors:

– logistics

– bed access and control

-medical oversight – transporting the patient to the service

–  a measurable, accountable process

Fifty per cent of patients in the region are transported by BC Ambulance, while the other 50 per cent go by Interior Health patient transport. The transport division continues to look at ways to reduce the waiting time for patients waiting for 911 calls.

A pilot program is currently underway to put together an emergency medical helicopter program, but much work remains to be done. The  initiative is an expensive one, and the project is in its infancy.