BC Rural Update is an e-newsletter of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc)

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RCCbc News

Handheld Ultrasound Devices Delivering Faster, More Accurate Diagnoses for Rural BC Patients

In the early days of the pandemic, a patient with fever and shortness of breath entered Kootenay Lake Hospital’s isolation zone in Nelson, British Columbia. Dr. Kevin Fairbairn, the family/emergency physician on duty, reviewed the patient’s workup, but with results only indicating an elevated white blood cell count, slightly elevated C-reactive protein level, and clear chest x-ray, diagnosis was difficult.

Luckily, Dr. Fairbairn had another diagnostic tool on hand. From his pocket, he grabbed a small, handheld, wi-fi enabled ultrasound scanner, which can show detailed ultrasound images when connected to a secure app on his smart phone. By simply guiding the scanner over the patient’s chest and examining the images appearing on his phone, Dr. Fairbairn immediately saw something concerning. Find out how the Intelligent Network Point-of-Care Ultrasound supercluster project is bringing ultrasound diagnoses closer to home for rural patients.

Virtual Physicians Help Keep Dawson Creek’s Emergency Room Open

RTVS logo designed by Douglas (Bear) Horne

A hospital’s Emergency Room was able to stay open, thanks to the work of Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) physicians.

Doctors from the Emergency RUDi (Rural Urgent Doctor in-aid) pathway have just wrapped up a 10-shift stint in Dawson Creek where they provided support to nurses working night shifts.

The RUDi physicians, who were patched in over Zoom through the RTVS pathways offered by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC, were able to assist the nurses on duty with various emergencies, including leg injuries, chest pain, and mental health concerns. Doctors were on call in the community, but none were scheduled to be at the hospital. Read how RUDi and the rest of the RTVS pathways have become an important tool in our healthcare system.

At the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), we’re passionate about improving the health of rural people and communities. We know that, when it comes to solving local health challenges, people in rural communities are self-reliant, innovative, and industrious. Big or small, we want to know all about your rural health innovation! Tell us the story about why your community needed it, how you created it, and what impact it has had in your community. To read an innovation, or share one with us, visit the Rural Health Innovations website.


Meet the RCCbc Team in Our Spotlight Series

Here at the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), we’re lucky to work with scads of talented, dedicated and diverse people who are passionate about improving the health of rural people and communities. To introduce our intrepid teammates, we launched a “Team Spotlight” series where they explain what they do at RCCbc, why they do it, and what hobbies and interests inspire and energize them.

This month, we learn what motivated Dr. Tracy Morton to get involved with RCCbc, and learn just how many languages Dan Harper can speak!

Rural Point-of-Care Ultrasound Rounds: Summer Series

Rurally-based clinicians, register now for the Rural Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) Rounds! This summer series aims to support the use, experience, and community for rural physicians. Session 4 on August 6, 2021, from 12–1pm will feature Dr. Tracy Morton, who will discuss POCUS for Deep Vein Thrombosis. This free event is eligible for up to 4.0 Mainpro+/MOC Section 1 credits. Register for the next session here.

St. Paul’s Emergency Medicine Update Virtual Conference

The Emergency Department at St. Paul’s Hospital and UBC CPD are offering this popular virtual conference once again on September 27, 2021. The agenda features topics from new speakers, updates, and lots of take-home pearls for your practice from emergency literature reviews, peri-arrest pediatric patients, massive transfusion, cultural sensitivity, and more. This Emergency Medicine conference is for rural physicians, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals, residents, and medical students. The conference is eligible for 6.25 Mainpro+/MOC Section 1. For more information, or to register, visit the website.

Rural Research

Newly Published Research & Calls for Study Participants

With record-breaking heat waves scorching most of British Columbia, and one of the most highly active and destructive wildfire seasons on record, climate change is on most rural people’s minds these days. This month, read a new chapter series by the Rural Health Services Research Network of BC and Centre for Rural Health Research about climate change and adaptation strategies for rural communities and health services. In addition, learn about a new study being led by Dr. Nelly Oelke on mental health, climate change, and COVID-19, which is seeking rural participants, and another study from UBC that is seeking participants to examine technology use during COVID-19. Click here to find out more.

Rural Healthcare Job Opportunities

Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) team members work across different nodes throughout the province. Building and facilitating relationships with health system partners across our network, our staff are passionate and enthusiastic about helping improve the quality and access of service to rural people and communities.

There are number of job opportunities for rural healthcare leaders with RCCbc and with our valued partners. Visit our careers page to see the jobs.



Web site background image: Cowichan Bay, BC. Photo: Gary Oaksun