Getting patients transferred to appropriate health-care facilities in Northern B.C. have just gotten easier.
Northern Health is now using software developed at the University of Northern British Columbia that helps health-care workers quickly find the most appropriate location for patients.
What used to take hours of back and forth phone calls can now be reduced to a few minutes of clicking on a computer, says Beth Ann Derksen, Northern Health’s Executive Lead of Critical Care.
Professor Waqar Haque teaches computer science at UNBC.
Haque and his students worked on the program for Northern Health.
He says the software was designed using business intelligence techniques.
He says that the major obstacle they faced was coding all the information and putting it into a usable form in a database.
Derksen says she’s passed onto her colleagues at other health authorities about their software and it’s receiving a lot of interest.
She says while the system is currently only in place at Northern Health, in the future it could be rolled into a central province-wide system.
Haque says expanding and customizing the system wouldn’t be too difficult now that the framework is in place.
He says it was great experience for many of the students, and many of them are now working for Northern Health.
The system was deployed three months ago, and is now being used in 26 facilities across Northern Health.
It took 15 months to code, at a cost of $12,000.