The biggest challenges in health care can sometimes appear to be very simple. For example, GP’s and Specialists have faced challenges in communicating with each other in a seamless and timely way. This happens because our system is complex, we have a large variety of health care providers, and diverse populations and regions.
That is changing in our province as the result of collaboration between Doctors of BC, the provincial government and Providence Health.
The partners joined together to launch RACE (Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise), a program that is helping to connect GPs to Specialists via telephone, for quick and efficient clinical guidance regarding their patients. About 80% of calls are answered within 10 minutes, often before the patient has left the office.
Recently, RACE marked a big milestone, logging 20,000 calls since it began in 2010. Evaluation has shown that this innovative method of sharing care has so far prevented 60% of patients from waiting for an unnecessary face-to-face consult, and a further 32% not having to visit an ER.
Now, if you practice in Surrey/North Delta, you can access RACE’s latest innovation – a new app! It can be downloaded on Apple and Android, and locally 84 GPs, and 26 specialists have signed up, covering nine different specialities – and more are signing up every day. Plans are underway for expansion of the app in the future.
The RACE telephone line began in Providence Health with funding from the Shared Care Committee (a partnership of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health). Since then, RACE has spread across the province and grown to encompass 23 speciality areas from cardiology to pediatric care to endocrinology.
It’s another example of how Doctors of BC, the provincial government and Health Authorities are working together to benefit patient care, and to build a stronger health care system.
For more information on RACE visit http://www.raceconnect.ca/.
For information on Shared Care