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NEWS RELEASE · 17th August 2010
Northern Health
Northern Health (NH) is exploring new options for transporting patients between facilities, through a Patient Transport Pilot Project. NH has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Alternative Service Provider to conduct ground inter-facility transportation services for patients who don’t require care from paramedics during transport.

“The re-design of the inter-facility transport service is an opportunity to improve service delivery and reduce costs,” said Ashley Stoppler, Northern Health’s Regional Manager of Patient Transportation. “This pilot project will help free up essential ambulance resources, and through centralized coordination of patient transfers we will make better use of resources.”

All patient transfers in Northern Health are currently conducted by the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS), which transports approximately 9,000 patients by ground and air each year. BCAS will continue to conduct all other inter-facility transports including all air ambulance services, (9-1-1) emergency, critical and monitored-care transfers. ASP(s) will only conduct inter-facility ground transports for low-acuity (i.e. self care and assisted care) patients where it is clinically, geographically and operationally viable.

The decision to explore ASP(s) for patient transport is supported by research data and the experience of other health authorities, including Interior Health. ASPs have been in use in BC since the late 1990s, and all other B.C. health authorities currently use ASPs for performing inter-facility transport services for low-acuity patients Their experience has demonstrated benefits from improved access for and flow of patients through the healthcare system, and cost savings from operational efficiencies.

Northern Health’s Request for Proposals for an Alternative Service Provider is posted on BC Bid, and proponents will have until October 22, 2010 to submit proposals. Northern Health will review the bids, and look to select a vendor four to six weeks later. The target start for the Patient Transport Pilot Project is April 2011.