RHSRNbc launches GIS project to build catchment maps for rural BC

Living rurally can frequently involve travel along logging roads, in all weather. Photo: John Pawlovich

Submitted by Nisrine El Amiri

The Rural Health Services Research Network of BC is seeking to map rural catchment areas for health services in British Columbia. Defining natural population catchments for each rural service will allow the network to evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare services and contribute to a more informed health service planning process.

Currently, there is no systematic approach for rural catchment mapping in British Columbia. Available Local Health Area mapping only approximates catchment areas and is not adjusted for surface travel time. Rural service planning by the regional Health Authorities is based on potential air travel time.

The network will be utilizing GIS technology to define and track catchment from the patient’s perspective traveling along roads. The GIS environment will further allow RHSRNbc to rapidly remap service catchments in response to changes in specific hospital services, measuring impacts over time.

If you would like to learn more about this project, contribute information and insight, or use the data platform being created, please contact RHSRNbc coordinator Nisrine El Amiri at nisrine.elamiri@ubc.ca.

Are you interested in rural research? Join the RHSRNbc and become a member! You will be notified for network events and applications for grants, such as the Team Award (applications are  still being accepted!).