Dear CAEP Members,
Recently, representatives from CAEPs Rural and Small Urban Section held a teleconference with representatives of the Rural Road Map Implementation Committee (RRMIC) to discuss the issue of patient transfers and repatriation among rural emergency physicians, between rural medical facilities and larger healthcare centres, and how they impact on patient care.
RRMIC is a group led by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada whose role is to promote and advance recommendations of their Rural Road Map for Action. RRMIC is exploring ways to systemically improve rural patient transfers and repatriation. You will agree that transfer protocols designed to support rural physicians can improve quality of care and access to specialized services that are beyond the capacity of local rural resources. Inadequate access to such services and the inability to transfer patients in an efficient way is not helpful to patient care outcomes (already impacted by time / distance / geography).
As part of this collaborative, CAEP wants to help address this situation. As such, CAEP would like to learn about our membership’s experiences related to patient transfer from rural/remote communities and back. We would specifically like to investigate the scope of this problem for our members, and in which jurisdictions they are happening. We would appreciate your input in this matter and would ask that you get back to us with your experiences/activities with patiet transfers and repatriation based on the following questions:
- What were the circumstances or situation whereby you were unable to transfer a patient? (e.g. refusal or delay to accept due to lack of an available secondary or tertiary bed). And what was the outcome for that patient?
- What factors or resources help to improve your ability to transfer patients? (e.g. delay due to lack of access to air medevac, or road ambulance escort staffing resources beyond the scope of local EMS capability) And what was the outcome for that patient?
- How well are you supported in your local community (and provincially) in patient transfers and repatriation?
CAEP members who wish to further explore or collaborate in RRMIC activities are also invited to respond. Should you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.