Update on Real Time Virtual Supports (RTVS) for rural BC providers

Photo: John Pawlovich

The work of establishing accessible, agile, and sustainable Real Time Virtual Support (RTVS) for BC’s rural physicians has advanced significantly since the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues’ (JSC) November announcement of its intention to continue to advance virtual supports for BC’s rural physicians. Over the past months, the RTVS Working Group at the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) has engaged rural physicians, critical care providers, emergency medicine doctors, and IT subject matter experts to explore innovative approaches to support rural healthcare providers as needed, when needed.

Work is underway to establish a new IT platform that will enable rural providers to connect in a timely and simple fashion with their peers and specialist colleagues seeking help (i.e., rural generalist intensivists, emergency medicine physicians and dermatologists). RCCbc and its partners – FNHA and Providence Health – will be establishing a Collaborative Centre of Excellence in Virtual Health to enable this initiative – check back with RCCbc in early 2020 to learn more about the exciting new developments that aim to support you in your rural community.  

During this transition, critical and emergency care supports continue to be available to you and other rural physicians in BC. You may connect with an Intensivists group – Drs. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Omar Ahmad, Don Burke, Mario Francispragasam, Neilson McLean and MJ Slabbert – by calling 1-888-918-0626. There will be someone available to take your call, 24/7, for any issue: resuscitation, urgent care, non-urgent care, acute concerns or chronic conditions. 

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Over the next weeks and months, RCCbc will provide correspondence and updates about the evolution of the new Real-Time Virtual Support pathways being developed to support rural providers. If you have questions or concerns about this transition, or suggestions for where you think these supports should evolve, please feel free to reach out to Dr. John Pawlovich through the RCCbc office at 1-877-908-8222 or via email at info@rccbc.ca