The Regional Critical Care Response (RCCR) Program of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been recognized on the Minister’s Medal Honour Roll. The Minister of Health’s Minister’s medals honour excellence in health quality and safety through a competitive, annual recognition program that celebrates the collaborative efforts of Ontario’s health care providers in improving care for Ontarians.
“The Regional Critical Care Response Program really improves care for regional patients,” said Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, EVP, Patient Care Services at the Health Sciences Centre.”Health care providers, linked by technology, can provide timely assessment and management for patients. It is an exciting collaboration that helps us deliver exceptional critical care and we’re proud to be recognized by the Minister’s Medal Honour Roll.”
The RCCR program, funded by the North West LHIN, is an innovative eHealth strategy that leverages Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) to facilitate videoconferencing for real-life patient assessment for patients requiring transfer to the Health Sciences Centre. It connects eleven of the Northwest community Emergency Departments and Intensive Care Units to critical care trained physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
The program can be accessed 24/7 for adult patients who are critically ill or medically unstable. Calls to the RCCR Program are attended to by an Intensivist and a specially trained critical care nurse. Additional medical services may join the call, including respiratory therapy, the critical care pharmacist, dietician, trauma Nurse Practitioner, general surgery, and neurosurgery.
The Health Sciences Centre has the only level 3 critical care unit and is the lead trauma centre within the North West LHIN. As such, patients throughout the region are transferred to Thunder Bay when they require that level of critical care.
“Real-time patient assessment prepares patients for transfer via Ornge sooner. The opportunity and funding to develop this collaborative partnership and leverage technology brings critical care and trauma expertise to patients across Northwestern Ontario,” said Dr. Michael Scott, Critical Care Physician Lead at the Health Sciences Centre.
The program has achieved great success since its launch in the spring of 2015. Due to patient needs, daily rounds are now performed with Lake of the Woods Hospital in Kenora, providing a heightened level of support.
“Daily rounding provides a number of benefits for patients and families, including better outcomes for patients through earlier access to specialized treatments, shorter transfer times, and potentially eliminating the need to transfer a patient, bringing care closer to home,” said Scott. ”In addition, we’ve added a nurse position 12 hours per day to support the program’s growth and provide better care for our regional patients.”