New virtual supports available for healthcare providers in rural, remote and First Nations communities

A new virtual support initiative is now available for rural healthcare providers to deliver timely patient-centred care closer to home. Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) pathways provide midwives, nurse practitioners, nurses and physicians in rural, remote, and First Nations communities with access to 24-hour, just-in-time advice to support patient care. The pathways were developed not only to improve access to care but also to help rural healthcare providers seek support about their patients or situations in a safe, non-judgmental way.

Through Zoom, practitioners can be connected to one of five teams providing culturally safe and compassionate support:

  1. RUDi – Emergency
  2. ROSe – Critical Care
  3. CHARLiE – Pediatrics
  4. MaBAL – Maternity and Newborn
  5. UBC Dermatology Rural and Remote Service

These teams have an understanding of the rural and cultural contexts and are available to support rural healthcare providers for any issue, including:

  • providing a patient consult, second opinion, or ongoing patient support;
  • reviewing a patient case;
  • running through patient simulation scenarios;
  • navigating the healthcare system; and
  • providing collaborative support in critical times.

There is also a toolkit available that’s aimed at helping healthcare providers in rural, remote, and First Nations communities navigate the pathways and includes access information, Zoom instructions, FAQs, bios and photos of RTVS teams, and posters.

Real-Time Virtual Support is an initiative of the Virtual Health and Wellness Collaborative for Rural and First Nations BC and is made possible through the incredible work and collaboration of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (supported by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues), First Nations Health Authority, Provincial Health Services Authority, Providence Health Care, BC Emergency Medicine Network, and UBC Department of Emergency Medicine.