VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) was recently audited and knows where they are succeeding and where they need work.
The BCEHS is usually the first point of contact for someone that requires medical attention as they are being transported to a health care facility or hospital. The goal of the BCEHS is to provide timely and appropriate access to health care when provided.
The BCEHS struggles to get out in a timely matter to provide critical care yet their greatest disadvantage is in urban centres where the desired time of arrival is 9 minutes and the actual time is reached 50 percent of the time, shared the audit report. This increases the risk to patients not receiving care in the time they need it.
Yet targets in Rural and Remote areas are being met.
The Fire Department First Responders play an essential role in supporting BCEHS providing a quick response but the BCEHS does not have a coordinated approach with the Fire Department.
The Auditor General shares improved collaboration with fire departments is needed to support the consistent application of medical standards, information sharing, and improvements to patient care.
Yet improving this coordination will not be easy for several reasons, as the fire department first responders are employed by local governments, while BCEHS is part of the provincial government. As well, BCEHS and some municipalities have different views on how the fire department first responders can best support BCEHS in providing effective access to emergency health services.
These challenges may require support from the provincial government shared the Auditor General to creating solutions.