The Rural Surgical and Obstetrics Networks (RSON) stabilizes, supports and enhances the delivery of quality healthcare to vulnerable rural populations in British Columbia, including Indigenous populations.
“Probably one of the best educational days I have had. I feel that not only did we learn a lot, but also built valuable connections which cannot be measured.”
Increased rural access to surgery
RSON has increased access to surgical care in multiple communities. In Hazelton, patients now have access to D&C and urology consults. The community also had its first Urology OR procedure. Shoulder surgery became available in Smithers and Fernie. There was also an expansion of the ENT outreach program in the Northwest. The number of pediatric dental procedures across RSON sites has increased 300% since the start of RSON. Additionally, the number of endoscopies across RSON sites has increased 75%.
Stabilized access to maternity care
The team at Elk Valley Hospital has been tracking unplanned transfers for maternity patients along with the reasons for transfer for three years. Looking at avoidable reasons for transfer (OR closures, staff confidence, staff availability) and systematically addressing these reasons through advocacy, coaching, and collaborative planning, the EVH team demonstrated a 40% decrease in unnecessary transfers during this time, and no unnecessary transfers at all this fiscal year. This translated into a 10% increase in the number of patients who were able to delivery locally.
Developed a perioperative coaching framework
Seeing a need to develop rurally-relevant coaching and training opportunities for perioperative nurses, five communities came together to co-create a perioperative coaching framework. The RNs involved workshopped a list of skills, and an online Confidence Assessment Tool, to allow local teams to run a simple needs assessment for their nurses. So far seven communities have implemented the tool and are using it to plan coaching opportunities for the upcoming year.
Explore the Numbers
40% Decrease in unnecessary transfers
The Elk Valley Hospital team systematically addressed known reasons for unnecessary maternity transfers, and, through advocacy, coaching, and collaborative planning, worked to reduce the transfers.
75% Increase in endoscopies
There has been a 75% increase in endoscopy surgery across RSON sites since the start of the project.
300% Increase in pediatric dental procedures
There has been a 300% increase in pediatric dental procedures across RSON sites since the start of the project.
The Patient Reported Outcomes & Experiences Survey gathered 2000 responses.
Plans for the Future
RSON will continue supporting rural teams, with funding for local initiatives, quality leads, and coordination support. Six RSON teams will be presenting local projects at the Quality Forum, and we’re excited to see the networks between rural sites continue to grow.