There have been focused efforts in BC, AB, and SK to build proof of concept rural-regional networks as envisioned in the Joint Position Paper on Rural Surgery and Operative Delivery and Operative Delivery and developed in the Banff Workshop. Dr Randy Friesen and Jude Kornelsen have initiated a Rural Surgery Network Reference Group that meets monthly by teleconference. Its goal is to provide communication and collaboration between the various provincial surgical network projects. They have published Building Rural Surgical Networks: An Evidence Based Approach (Healthcare Policy, 12(1) August 2016: 37-42. doi:10.12927/hcpol.2016.24779). For more information, email Jude Kornelsen.
The Rural Coordination Centre of BC has been supporting RSON based on the principles outlined in Rural Surgery, Operative Delivery, and Trauma Response Networks. RSON focuses on clinical coaching programs, remote presence technology providing virtual linkages between rural-regional ORs, and integrating the rural surgical departments into those of the regional centers. The five pillars of RSON are increased scope and volume, clinical coaching for rural generalists by regional specialists, remote presence technology, continuous quality improvement and evaluation. The Centre for Rural Health Research at UBC is evaluating RSON's effectiveness over time.