2023 Northern BC Research and Quality Conference - Concurrent Session Information

Conference Poster

Concurrent Session J 

Date: November 8 

Time: 3:15pm - 4:15pm

Location: University of Northern BC, 6-307

Theme: Team Based Primary Care, Workforce Recovery and Rebuilding $ Healthcare Across the Lifespan

Oral Presenters: 

April Judy, Sasha Wade, Kristina McKenzie

Title:  An interdisciplinary allied health resource team comprised of an occupational therapist (OT), speech and language pathologist (SLP), and registered dietitian (RD), is unique to Northern Health and does not exist elsewhere in Canada 

Objective: To improve quality of life for older adults in NH by optimizing Allied Health (SLP, OT, RD) initiatives in Long Term Care, starting with dysphagia management. 
 
Methods: The team has worked since 2014 to address the gap in dysphagia care in Long Term Care through education/mentorship/training, quality improvement projects, and providing leadership for these professions. 
 
Accomplishments: 

  1. Improves interdisciplinary collaboration: The team models interdisciplinary work within the allied health realm but also in collaboration with Indigenous health, nursing educators, clinical leads, and patient-partners, to name a few. The team hosts a monthly Dysphagia Community of Practice with OTs, SLPs, and RDs. This influences local teams to adopt an interdisciplinary lens, specifically in dysphagia management, but increasingly in other areas of practice such as dementia, palliative care, and wound care. 
  2. Provides a fulsome voice for allied health at the leadership table: Regionally-based, the team brings concerns forward to highlight gaps, inform policy, and service model development. 
  3. Improves recruitment and retention: The team provides virtual and in-person support for allied health practitioners, who often work in isolation and may be new graduates. Lack of support is often cited as a reason to seek new employment. Additionally, the team’s research and development positions provide an opportunity for job advancement and growth.

Next steps: After implementing the dysphagia management program, the team is researching and developing new interdisciplinary and profession specific quality improvement projects, while supporting staff regionally. They are often asked about their work, therefore created this animated video, and are in the process of writing a journal article.


Amanda De Smit, Martha MacLeod & Kristi Dietz 

Title: Contributing to Rural Perinatal Health: A Case Study of Nursing in the Fort St. John Prenatal Clinic and Birthing Centre 

Objective: The purpose of this hermeneutic qualitative case study is to explore how perinatal registered nurses work with childbearing families as members of an interprofessional primary care team in Fort St. John, British Columbia. This study seeks to understand how perinatal care has been provided in the Fort St. John Prenatal Clinic and Birthing Centre, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.  

Methods: Birthing persons and their families, registered nurses, healthcare providers, health administrators, and birth support workers were invited to participate in qualitative interviews regarding their experiences of birth and supporting birth in Fort St. John. Researchers shadowed nurses on all shifts over 4 days. Hermeneutic analysis and interpretation were conducted with interviews (n=25) and field notes. 

Results: Nurses, with physicians and others, seek to help families experience pregnancy as “a good life event” rather than a medical condition. Through their careful, continuous, knowledgeable attentiveness, nurses constantly heed both obvious and subtle clinical factors to prevent or ameliorate risk, while ensuring that the systems and context are supportive for the patient and family. Their capacity to provide services during stressful times is made possible through flexibility and teamwork.   

Conclusions: This study illuminates the often demanding work of nurses in innovative team-based rural perinatal care and what supports are needed. The findings can be used to inform rurally-based safe, effective, sustainable, and client-centered perinatal care. It reveals the critically important work of nurses in team-based care amid staffing shortages, increasingly complex patient populations, and uncertain opportunities for continuing nursing education.  
Funding: This project has been made possible with funding from the MSFHR- BCNRI grant from the Michael Smith Foundation.  


Susan Schienbein & Shannon Zwiers

Title: Aligning IPT Education with a Dynamic Patient Panel

Description: The integration of primary and community care through a lens of team-based care has presented challenges for many teams across health authorities, including matching capacity to service demand. This pilot project addresses this challenge and presents an opportunity to reduce anxiety and confusion while increasing awareness and understanding of current demand. 

With a Quality Improvement lens, this pilot delivered information sessions to interprofessional teams around the standardized curriculum for their work. To ensure meaningful information, two reports were built to provide evidence using data: 

  • Education analysis; and
  • Service analysis.

Measurement for this pilot project included utilization of the following data: 

  • Pre and post survey data from education sessions; 
  • Number of users enrolled in standardized curriculum; and
  • Service request data for team redesign and directed orientation pathways.

Given the pilot nature of this project, attention was paid to learnings and recommendations to communities who are interested in successfully replicating pilot including:

  • Securing sponsorship; 
  • Identifying interested parties;
  • Developing a communication plan with key messages for the various interested parties;
  • Leveraging the culture of the organization; 
  • Utilizing visual cues and tools; and 
  • Employing change management philosophies.

Replication of this project has begun in the Northern Interior Health Service Delivery Area of Northern Health with an expectation that it will guide the redesign of interprofessional teams to be more nimble in aligning with service demands.