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BCEHS Clinical Hub wins national health care innovation award

BCEHS initiative to provide alternative care pathways for patients gains national recognition as the Clinical Hub team expands.
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​BCEHS is presented with the Solventum Health Care Innovation Team Award alongside Unity Health Toronto. As the other 2024 Innovation Award Winner, Unity Health has deployed over 50 AI and analytics tools to their care teams resulting in reduced mortality rates across their hospital network. 

The BC Emergency Health Services Clinical Hub, as part of the Provincial Health Services Authority, received the Solventum Health Care Innovation Team Award earlier this month in Halifax. The award recognizes the BCEHS’ pioneering efforts to re-shape out-of-hospital care in response to the increasing number of non-life-threatening 911 calls and system pressures. 

“We are so proud that the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) and Solventum (formerly 3M Health) chose to recognize our Secondary Triage Clinicians, Low Acuity Patient Navigators, Link & Referral Unit Paramedics, and Paramedic Specialists with this prestigious innovation award. Through their day-to-day work our clinicians have embraced change and become leaders in providing high quality patient care across our province,” says Ford Smith, Clinical Hub Director.
Established in January 2022, the Clinical Hub focuses on providing alternate assessment, conveyance, and care initiatives for patients with less-urgent medical conditions who may not need transport to hospital. Providing the right care the first time a patient contacts the 9-1-1 system ensures that paramedics and ambulances are available for the most critically ill and injured patients.

Almost half of BCEHS’ 9-1-1 calls are triaged as less-urgent medical concerns. These non-life-threatening emergencies which include minor wounds, sprains, muscle strains, mild illness or skin conditions, account for approximately 350,000 calls per year.

Primary Care Paramedics trained as Secondary Triage Clinicians assess these low acuity patients early in their 9-1-1 care journey, connecting them to alternative care options such as Urgent and Primary Care Centres (UPCCs) , mental health supports, and palliative care.  This helps low acuity patients avoid unnecessary transport to hospital and long waits in emergency departments.
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The Clinical Hub continues to show strong results in patient care experiences. Since January 1, 2022, more than 9,000 patients who were assessed by Secondary Triage did not require an ambulance.
BCEHS has also increased the number of its Link and Referral Units (LARUs), which are staffed by specialized primary care paramedics to respond to less-urgent patients who do not require stretcher transport. 

There are now 18 of these units in BC. Paramedics in these units can arrange transport to urgent primary care centres (UPCCs), enroll patients in an “Assess, See, Treat and Refer” (ASTAR) clinical pathway for follow-up support, or assist patients with care on-site. 

Since January 1, 2022, there were more than 14,000 events where LARUs arrived on scene and the event was resolved in a manner other than transporting a patient to an emergency department.  
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The Clinical Hub’s interdisciplinary team has now expanded to include more than 100 full-time positions and has increased its partnerships with more UPCCs around the province. Working with health authorities, the team continues to iterate new models of care and expand on its goals.    

“We’re excited to share that April 2024 was our highest all-time utilization of ASTaR and UPCC Referral Pathways,” says Ford. "Our next objective is to link the use of virtual care with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from our emergency ambulance fleet,” he adds. 
The CCHL Solventum award is the team’s third award. Last year the Clinical Hub received the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada Award of Excellence for an Innovative Treatment or Technology, a peer-selected award that recognizes extraordinary achievement of an innovated initiative within the last three years.  The Clinical Hub also received a Health Standards Organization Leading Practice Award in 2022.

SOURCE: BCEHS Clinical Hub wins national health care innovation award ( )
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