Tempering Challenges in Pediatric Inter-facility Critical Care Transport with Innovation

Last modified by Doug Maynard on 2015/09/17 15:16


In January 2014 Saskatchewan’s Royal University Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and pediatric critical care transport team became the provincial service and saw an overwhelming increase in volume.  Triaging the pediatric specialized team and providing critical care support to referring community centres have become more important than ever to avoid compromising our quality and safety. This led to an academic collaboration with Dr. Ivar Mendez who is pioneering the utilization of mobile remote devices to improve universal medical care access.  Together they are initiating a feasibility study to evaluate the use of a mobile remote-presence device for pediatric inter-facility transport triaging and acute/critical care support prior to transport.

This challenge is not just Saskatchewan’s.  Canada’s geographical range makes provision of medical expertise in some of the remote and rural communities (especially in the northern regions and First Nation’s communities) extremely difficult. Changing clinical standards to incorporate remote presence devices provides an extraordinary opportunity to expand the realm of the possible in health care provision.  It is a potentially transformative ‘solution’ for addressing a deep and ongoing gap in health care access.

Join us as we welcome Dr. Tanya Holt and Rachel Johnson to discuss how RUH is using research and innovation to address these challenges. 



LIS6626revised.jpegDr. Tanya Holt - Dr. Tanya Holt is a pediatric critical care specialist and the division head of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Royal University Hospital, (RUH) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  She is also the provincial medical director of Saskatchewan’s pediatric Inter-facility transport service.She completed her medical degree and pediatric residency at the University of Saskatchewan, followed by a pediatric critical care fellowship at McGill University Health Center.  

After returning to Saskatchewan in 2007, her interests have focused on developing pediatric critical care and transport programs that allow Saskatchewan children to receive the appropriate level of care closest to home.  This interest has extended into identifying barriers to pediatric critical care access and transport, particularly in the north with first nations communities.  

In November 2014 she initiated an academic collaboration and feasibility trial with Dr. Ivar Mendez, who is pioneering the utilization of remote presence devices for medical delivery in Canada and internationally.  Together they are evaluating the utilization of a robotic device in a remote northern Saskatchewan community.  They are evaluating this device as a potential solution for refining the way they support early pediatric critical care medical management and transport triaging in remote northern centers. 

In addition to her clinical PICU and transport interests, she is completing her master’s in community health and epidemiology and is focusing on pediatric acute/critical care access for her thesis.  She is married to Simon Mellor and has two daughters, Sloane 7 years and Grier 5 years.

racheljohnson.jpgRachel Johnston - Rachel is a Nurse Practitioner working in Pelican Narrows, SK. Originally from Toronto, she moved to northern Saskatchewan in January 2014. Rachel attained her BScN from McMaster University, and after spending some time working in an emergency Department she moved to South Africa for three years to work in a remote HIV treatment centre in a rural village. Returning to Toronto, she continued her work in HIV at Casey House Hospice and Sunnybrook Hospital. She transitioned into primary health care working at the Sherbourne Health Centre with the urban health team, and was the primary nurse for the Hep C and HIV programs. Rachel completed her Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate through SIAST last fall, and has been enjoying her new role working with a great team at the Angelique Canada Health Centre in Pelican Narrows. She is the local champion for robotic presence at the clinic.. Rachel is passionate about improving access to care for under-serviced populations, and is currently working on her Masters of Nursing through the University of Saskatchewan with this as her primary focus.

Created by Ann Watkins on 2015/08/18 21:18