There have been focused efforts in BC, AB, and SK to build proof of concept rural-regional networks as envisioned in the Joint Position Paper on Rural Surgery and Operative Delivery and Operative Delivery and developed in the Banff Workshop. A collaborative effort by key stakeholders in British Columbia has produced a program designed to overcome these challenges and build effective networks of rural surgical care, based on the synergistic interplay of five key pillars to support small surgical sites. These five pillars include clinical coaching, continuing quality improvement (CQI), remote presence technology to mitigate geographic challenges, sustainable local surgical capacity, and evaluation of dimensions of network function and clinical outcomes. Dr. Iglesias and Dr. Kornelsen have published a description of the new Rural Surgery and Obstetrics Network. For more information, contact Dr. Humber, the clinical lead.
The Rural Coordination Centre of BC has been supporting RSON based on the principles outlined in Rural Surgery, Operative Delivery, and Trauma Response Networks. RSON focuses on clinical coaching programs, remote presence technology providing virtual linkages between rural-regional ORs, and integrating the rural surgical departments into those of the regional centers. The five pillars of RSON are increased scope and volume, clinical coaching for rural generalists by regional specialists, remote presence technology, continuous quality improvement and evaluation. The Centre for Rural Health Research at UBC is evaluating RSON's effectiveness over time.