Background/ Why Is This Important?
Children with complex health care needs may be referred by their local health teams for assessment and/or treatment from the sub-specialty teams at BC Children's Hospital. For children living outside of Vancouver, a trip to BC Children’s Hospital for care can mean significant travel, cost and disruption for the whole family. Outreach clinics bring BC Children’s Hospital’s sub-specialized expertise and services to BC families in their home communities. Outreach team members may include sub-specialty physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, echo sonographers and dieticians in a wide range of clinical areas.
What Actions Have Already Been Taken?
Planning and coordinating outreach clinics, in conjunction with BC Children's Hospital, is a key priority of Child Health BC. In addition to enabling BC Children’s Hospital to provide leading edge care while optimizing system resources, outreach clinics also build partnerships with community-based health care teams to support children’s health on an ongoing basis.
For the past decade, Child Health BC has supported and strengthened the growth of outreach clinics. In the past two years, BCCH outreach patient visits have increased by more than 20 per cent. This translates to more than 5,400 patient visits every year.
In the past year, a total of 436 sub-specialty outreach clinics were held throughout the province:
|Sub-specialty||# of Clinics||Sub-specialty||# of Clinics|
|Cardiology||114||Surgery - Ophthalmology||24|
|Endocrinology||54||Surgery - ENT||10|
|Gastroenterology||38||Surgery - Orthopaedics||2|
*Data source-CERNER (2017-2018)
Where Are We Going Next?
Child Health BC continues to support and grow pediatric sub-specialty outreach across BC. This includes expanding outreach to new communities, as well as adding to the list of clinical programs offering outreach.
Virtual Care, including telehealth, is another transformational strategy for eliminating barriers to access to subspecialty care, and enabling care proximity in children’s home or community. Virtual care will enable children to be seen in their homes or communities, seamlessly integrating specialized care into the care plan. These technologies have the potential to decrease wait-times to see sub-specialists, to enhance follow-up care after hospital discharge, and to provide support in schools.