We are thrilled to announce that, as part of the July 15th intake, the British Columbia Ministry of Health has funded another three projects under the Innovation Pathway Program. Although this program is closed for the year, there are many ways to access support and funding for innovative projects through Innovarium, PHC’s innovation ecosystem. Learn more here.
More information will be shared in the coming weeks about the 2024 Ministry of Health Innovation Pathway program.
Continuous Troponin Monitoring
A group of peri-operative physicians at PHC working in Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine are excited to be testing a novel wearable device on the wrist that monitors troponin levels continuously. Troponin blood levels are crucial in the diagnosis of myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), and require repeated blood draws taken over several hours. This non-invasive device could help with earlier diagnosis and avoid the need for repeated blood sampling. The project will begin by monitoring patients post-operatively for heart attacks after non-cardiac surgery, with the intention to further extrapolate this to other areas of the hospital.
“We are extremely grateful to the Ministry of Health Innovation Pathway Program as the financial support will be instrumental in the evaluation and testing of a novel wearable device used to detect troponin levels. Offering both a non-invasive and continuous means to measure troponin would be ground-breaking as this could lead to earlier diagnosis of heart attacks, reduction in phlebotomies, and ultimately improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.” – Dr. Charles Yu, Anesthesiologist, Providence Health Care
Evaluating Emerging and Investigational Approaches to Opioid Use Disorder
The toxic drug supply crisis remains at critical levels, with more than 6 people dying of preventable overdose every day in BC. In response, since November 2019 the Addiction Medicine Consult Team at St. Paul’s Hospital has been offering a suite of pharmaceutical products, including fentanyl and medical heroin, under supervision to select patients with severe opioid use disorder. This emerging approach aims in part to prevent premature discharge and reduce overdose risk and mortality. Funding will be used to evaluate health outcomes and the implementation process itself, which will in turn inform future research and determine potential for widespread applicability. This innovation has the potential to expand into hospital-based settings across the province and beyond – possibly helping to ease historic levels of strain on emergency care departments.
“I am very proud of the team that we’ve pulled together and grateful to the Ministry of Health for this funding, which we will use to evaluate a new pioneering option for people at high-risk of deadly overdose. St. Paul’s has long been at the frontlines of the overdose crisis here in Vancouver, and we hope that this evaluation will lead to better care for people who face some of the most considerable barriers to care in our society.” -Dr. Nadia Fairbairn, Philip Owen Professor in Addiction Medicine; Clinician Scientist (BC Centre on Substance Use); Assistant Professor (Division of Social Medicine, Department of Medicine at University of British Columbia)
Evaluating Emerging and Investigational Approaches to Opioid Use Disorder Project Team. From L – R: Dr. Samantha Young, Dr. Sukhpreet Klaire, Dr. Nadia Fairbairn (PI), Stephanie Glegg (Co-PI), and Dr. Olivia Brooks. Not pictured: Dr. Seonaid Nolan, Dr. Andrea Ryan, Elizabeth Dougherty, and Julie Lajeunesse.
Your Optimal Rotation
Effective staff scheduling and rotation development in health care are vital for workforce management, and manual rotation planning poses risks due to its complexity and time-consuming nature. In collaboration with the Workforce Planning team at PHC, the Advanced Modeling & Optimization team has developed a Rotation Automation Optimization (ROA) tool to create optimal rotations by considering staff’s preferred working schedules, their priorities, shift requirements, collective agreement mandates, and past rotation data. ROA significantly reduces the time required to create master rotation plans while striving to ensure staff schedules are more balanced, consistent, and effective in their implementation.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the BC Ministry of Health (MoH) Innovation Pathway Program for funding our ROA project. This financial support is crucial in helping us test, evaluate, and improve the ROA application within HR planning process. With this funding, we hold a strong belief in our capacity to instigate positive change and create a long-lasting impact on the efficiency of rotation development and staff scheduling process. The significance of this funding extends well beyond our organization, as we remain committed to maximizing its influence and continually enhancing ROA’s functionality and adaptability, with the ultimate goal of making it accessible to other health authorities in BC.” -Dr. Mehdi Ghotboddini, Senior Manager, Advanced Modeling & Optimization, Health Informatics
Rotation Automation Optimization project team. From L – R: Ugur Yildiz, Jena Wang, Crystal Lin, Fatih Bilen, and Dr. Mehdi Ghotboddini. Not pictured: Jack Yeung, Uzma Ali, Yan Ching, Lynda Hill, Manisha Gill, Stephanie Bauman, Andrea Sylvestri, Ladan Irannejad, Nileshni Sharma, Shiva Badiee.
Innovation and partnerships are critical for the long-term sustainability and improvement of B.C.’s health care system. The B.C. Ministry of Health and its partners are working to advance new and effective ideas to support a sustainable and innovative health care system through multiple pathways. The Ministry is committed to harnessing the knowledge and expertise of those working in the health system to develop innovative solutions. The Health Innovation Pathway program was established in 2022 to support the testing of promising innovations in clinical settings.