The BC Emergency Medicine Network (EMN) was launched on 12 September 2017. Our vision is “Exceptional emergency care. Everywhere,” and the objective of the EMN is to improve care by sharing clinical resources, bridging communication gaps, and strengthening relationships between clinicians across all emergency settings. Presently, there are already over 300 EMN members; our goal is to connect all 1100 physicians providing emergency care across BC.
Why an emergency medicine network?
As generalists, emergency practitioners face challenges keeping up with current knowledge and skills owing to the wide spectrum of practice and rapid rate of knowledge generation. Currently, physicians and EDs struggle in isolation to define and implement management approaches for their settings, and they do so without formal linkage to researchers, policy experts, health authorities, government, and patients. Easy access to current, evidence-informed best practices, in combination with the capability for real-time consultation with trusted colleagues, would help support contextually appropriate best practice, particularly for critically ill patients in rural communities. It was against this backdrop, and the resulting opportunity to advance evidence-informed emergency care in BC, that the EMN was formed.
The EMN is more than simply an online tool or website. A growing body of scholarly and practical evidence about networks has informed the development of the EMN, and we will use network science to evaluate our progress and direct our approaches. Although networks can be conceptualized in many ways, their practical relevance largely depends on the quality and strength of their individual and organizational member relationships. In short, if you work in a BC emergency department, there is no network without you!
What’s in it for me?
The primary purpose of the BC EMN is to support BC emergency practitioners and connect them with each other and with current, practical resources via four core programs: Clinical Resources, Innovation, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and Real-Time Support. Through www.bcemergencynetwork.ca, the EMN brings physicians together to ask and answer questions, share and improve resources, and robustly discuss and reach solutions for the issues they face.
The four core programs
The Clinical Resources Program solicits experts to author a wide range of point-of-care clinical summaries on core emergency medicine (EM) topics and has reviewed and compiled repositories of ECGs, images, procedural videos and patient information sheets that physicians can easily access while working. Physicians from across BC vet the clinical summaries to ensure their relevance and accuracy for both rural and urban practice environments.
The Innovation Program supports the generation and translation of new knowledge, and focuses on measurable outcomes to guide policy and improvements. The program currently includes 13 innovation initiatives on a range of topics related to clinical care, emergency systems, and prevention. The website provides a unique means for EM researchers to seek collaborators and guidance on ongoing research initiatives, facilitate knowledge translation of their research findings, and openly engage on interactive forums.
The CPD Program supports interprofessional team training through 1) the establishment of a unified portal for EM-related CPD registration; and 2) initiatives that create and support high-quality simulation programs, strengthen regional simulation nodes across BC, and enhance the simulation curriculum for UBC EM and Family Medicine residents to better prepare them for entry to practice.
The Real-Time Support Program is working to develop an emergency care system that includes just-in-time peer support for BC physicians providing emergency care. The nature of this will vary with urgency and complexity, and it is envisioned to include secure social media–based support, telephone advice, and video-linked critical care support. A pilot project is ongoing in the Robson Valley to assess a range of virtual health scenarios that will inform province-wide implementation.
For more information about the EMN and to find out how you can get involved and join, please visit www.bcemergencynetwork.ca and follow us @BCEmergMedNtwrk.
—Riyad B. Abu-Laban, MD, MHSc
—Jim Christenson, MD
—Sharla Drebit, MBA, MSc
On behalf of the BC Emergency Medicine Network Advisory and Management Committees