Created by and for rural clinicians, the Isolated Medical Provider Aftercare Team (IMPACT) offers confidential peer-to-peer support to rural physicians and to nurses in remote nursing stations in British Columbia who have experienced a potentially challenging incident in the course of their work.
“We have had very meaningful connections with our IMPACT peers. I recall a recent phone call with a rural specialist who experienced a very challenging transfer of a very sick patient. She clearly found it helpful to process the experience with a trusted Rural colleague who understood…who has been there. I think it was useful to help her reframe the experience and remind her that she saved a life. It is remarkable how readily we take on the responsibility for system challenges…circumstances beyond our control. I think it is healing to be able to speak with someone who can validate our experience.”
Expanded IMPACT province-wide
In 2022, IMPACT expanded from a pilot in the north to being available to all rural providers in British Columbia, offering peer-to-peer support to rural physicians and nursing station nurses province-wide. The team continued to raise awareness about the IMPACT program by reaching out to providers, health authorities and other partners through posters, social media and information sheets, plus meeting with regional and provincial contacts. By connecting with providers through IMPACT and fostering a culture of support, providers can talk about challenging experiences with a peer. This opportunity to process a difficult experience makes a huge difference, creating space to prioritize well-being and grow resilience to continue in rural practice.
Grew provincial partnerships & shared learnings
The IMPACT team connects regularly with the BC Physician Health Program and the peer support community of practice to exchange knowledge and experiences around IMPACT and other peer support programs in British Columbia. They also continue to meet and strengthen our partnership with BC Emergency Health Services and the Patient Transfer Coordinator team, creating new avenues for notification when a provider has been affected by a challenging event.
Plans for the Future
During 2023-24, IMPACT will continue to promote the availability of this peer support resource for rural and remote providers.
The team plan to continue strengthening their partnership with BC Emergency Health Services, working to establish a new easy process for Patient Transfer Coordinators to notify IMPACT when a provider may have been affected by a challenging event. They will also be participating in ongoing collaboration with the Physician Health Program, and exchange learnings with other physician peer support programs in the province.