2023 Northern BC Research and Quality Conference - Concurrent Session Information

Conference Poster

Concurrent Session F 

Theme: Accessibility to Health care  


Aisling Quigley 

Title: REACH BC: Advancing Innovative Healthcare with Technology

Abstract: We are delighted to present REACH BC, an online provincial platform, as a leading contender for an oral presentation at the esteemed 2023 Northern BC Research and Quality Conference under the section "Innovative Healthcare, Technology, & Data Quality." REACH BC's unwavering commitment to catalyzing change for a stronger health research system is fueled by our sophisticated technology, designed to make research more accessible and efficient. Central to our mission is the empowerment of participants, ensuring they have full control over their data and details when volunteering for research opportunities.

Catalyzing Change through High-Quality REACH BC Platform Infrastructure: REACH BC's primary objective is to provide a robust and high-quality platform infrastructure, empowering researchers to efficiently recruit and enroll participants or patient partners. This advanced infrastructure also facilitates seamless sharing of research results for their studies and patient-oriented research opportunities. By fostering collaboration and connectivity, REACH BC aims to enhance the overall efficiency and productivity of health research initiatives in Northern communities. Notably, we prioritize participant privacy, granting full control to individuals over their data and personal details. This approach engenders trust and encourages active engagement in research, thus contributing to the overall success and impact of healthcare initiatives across Northern communities.

Mobilizing Communities for Research Impact: Central to REACH BC's vision is an increased outreach and support for British Columbians eager to participate in studies and patient partner opportunities. REACH BC's efforts extend to underserved populations, ensuring equitable access and representation in research endeavors. By mobilizing communities and fostering active participation, REACH BC aspires to amplify the impact of health research, generating valuable insights that drive positive change and contribute to better healthcare outcomes in the North.Through our oral presentation, we envision sparking a collective vision of healthcare advancement, where innovative technology and participant empowerment pave the way for a stronger health research system, benefiting communities across the province and beyond.

Conclusion: Right now, our platform has over 6,500 volunteers and 1,000 researchers. Over the next year we are launching a provincial campaign to drastically increase our usership, and our reach, across the province.


Lisette Vienneau 

Title: Lab Outpatient Improvement Project (LOIP)

Objective: The goal was to improve patient access and reduce wait times. 

Methods: Improving access was achieved by offering a blended service model of scheduled and unscheduled lab appointments, whereby patients could self-schedule either online using the HealthElife portal or by phone, the ability to drop-in while avoiding long line-ups using NH Check In for queueing, and the flexibility to bring in a requisition or have it sent straight to the lab. Lab staff and providers could focus on appropriate tasks thanks to the digitization of requisitions, modern processes and tools, expansion of clerical functions and support, standardization of the lab schedule, and improved patient flow management for drop-ins.

Person/Family/Community Partner Engagement: Patient partners provided critical leadership and guidance as active steering committee members through the duration of the project (2+ years). Patient priorities drove the evaluation of the project; phones answered, knowledge that the req has been received, and confidence that all procedures will be completed during the visit. Patient partners represented all HSDAs, demographics, socioeconomic status, including Indigenous representation. 

Results: Reduction of average wait time of 4-6 weeks for an outpatient lab appointment in April of 2021 to average same day (drop-in) to 24hr availability for a lab appointment in March 2023. Achieved by:

  • implementing a standard lab schedule across NH (Cerner Scheduling)
  • implementing central intake
  • implementing central scheduling
  • implementing queue management
  • implementing online self-scheduling

Lessons Learned: 

  • need all impacted stakeholders at the table (patients, ordering providers, staff)
  • can't predict all the impacts of a project - recognition that learnings will occur throughout the course of the project
  • value of having frequent inter-disciplinary team meetings
  • big changes need to be given time to work themselves out, patience is important!
  • importance of a committed team to rely on and work with
  • project principles will keep you on the right track when difficult decisions arise 

Tom Skinner 

Title: Rural Quality Improvement programs enhance service reliability and team resilience

Objective: Understand how locally-driven QI programs influence team culture and resilience through increased staff engagement and collaboration.

Methods: Service reliability is essential to serving the health care needs of a community, particularly in rural hospital settings where resource constraints and geographical isolation can pose unique challenges. Sustainable quality models of care, encompassing core services of anesthesia, surgery, maternity, and emergency, are the foundation of sustainable hospitals. Locally-driven Quality Improvement programs address service reliability through increased staff engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration, and elevated patient care standards. Rurally relevant QI projects have the ability to contribute to a local culture of quality while taking into consideration the specific contexts of unique rural healthcare setting.
This talk will share learnings from rural sites, demonstrated impacts of quality program initiatives including specific quality projects from communities involved in the Rural Surgical and Obstetric Network in BC. These teams innovated and collaborated through dozens of rurally relevant QI initiatives, demonstrating how highly effective teams provide quality care. We’ll also look at key structures and roles needed to support a quality program, the importance of access to timely local data, a quality framework appropriate for low volume settings, and how high functioning teams deliver high quality care.

Results: High team effectiveness scores, reduced service interruption, and comparatively stable physician and staffing levels demonstrate the impact of local quality improvement programs.  

Lessons Learned: These local quality improvement programs were driven by active involvement from frontline staff and local leadership. This empowered staff to identify operational inefficiencies, propose solutions, and take ownership of the improvement process. By being directly engaged in decision-making, staff members become more invested in the hospital's success, leading to increased motivation, job satisfaction, and a shared sense of responsibility for service reliability.