The Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise (RACE) program continues to earn accolades, recently winning bronze in the Health Care Leadership category of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards.
The awards recognize organizations that demonstrate outstanding leadership and innovative approaches to overcoming challenges in fields such as health care, education, and governance, particularly those that can be reproduced elsewhere.
RACE is a prototype program designed to increase family physician access to specialist consultation and to improve communication and knowledge transfer between different care providers. The program developed from a partnership between the Shared Care Committee (a joint committee of the BC Ministry of Health and the BC Medical Association) and Providence Health Care in Vancouver.
Family physicians in the Vancouver Coastal Health region can phone 604 696-2131 or toll free 1 877 696-2131 to speak to specialists in the fields of cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, psychiatry, respirology, cardiovascular risk and lipid management, geriatrics, heart failure, or internal medicine.
Callers provide information regarding a patient’s condition and its apparent causes, including background information related to the patient’s condition, and request advice on how to proceed. If a specialist is not available immediately, he or she will return the call within 2 hours (the majority of calls are returned within 10 minutes), and provide practical guidance and advice regarding assessment, management, and treatment plans for the patient. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m.
This is the second health care award win in the past 9 months for the program; in June 2011 RACE received the Health Employers Association of British Columbia (HEABC) Top Innovation Gold Apple Award.
RACE is part of the Shared Care Committee’s Partners in Care program and serves as a model for similar systems being developed at a number of sites around the province.
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