Social Responsibility is a Measure of Success

Social Responsibility

One could argue that social responsibility is one of the most important core values an organization can have. Indeed, in the values statement itself we state our belief that profitability cannot be our only measure of success.

We are incredibly privileged to live in a part of the world where most of us never see the kind of need that is experienced in much of the rest of the world. There is an old proverb that says, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” We have indeed been given much, and we believe it’s our responsibility to give back wherever we can.

Environmentally – We ensure we’re recycling and making the best use of our resources to minimize waste. We endeavour to be fiscally responsible and we share profits with our employees at the end of each year based on the company’s profitability.

Locally – Iridia allows every staff member three paid days per year to engaged in volunteer activities. We want our employees to be invested in their communities, and encourage the giving of their time to organizations that need their help. We give to local charities in the way of sponsorships and gifts during their fundraising campaigns.

Regionally – Recently, we have decided to support a BC-based organization or charity. We asked for staff participation in suggesting projects worthy of our support and then did a survey to determine which project people were most interested in getting involved with.

Internationally – For the first time this year, Iridia partnered with, an organization that facilitates giving micro loans to entrepreneurs in third-world countries. These loans enable them to start businesses that will move them out of poverty and allow them to support their families and build their local economies. We’re excited to see where these business people will be a year from now, and intend on continuing to support to these kinds of endeavours in the future.

There are lots of ways to measure success and Social Responsibility, and businesses who are leaders in the marketplace make sure they pay attention to all success factors. These activities keep us ground and grateful, and what could be more important than that?


Making Defibrillation More Accessible: The BC AED Registry

When someone collapses during a cardiac emergency, every second counts. How you respond can make all of the difference. The good news is that you now have increased chances of getting help sooner. The BC PAD Program in collaboration with the BC Ambulance Service have launched the BC AED Registry, a repository for businesses and organizations to register their Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to be publicly accessible in emergency situations.

AED Registry

The AED Registry is a service which enables 911 dispatchers to identify the location of the nearest AED registered in the database. The dispatcher will then instruct the person on site to have someone retrieve the device and begin CPR.

Laurie Lowes, Manager of Health and Safety at London Drugs has been a major proponent of the AED Registry in BC. “We were the first retailer to place AEDs in all of our retail stores in 2009 and now we’ve added the AEDs to the registry, it was the right thing to do. At the end of the day, it’s not just about serving customers, it’s about saving lives.” With this, over 1,000 of their staff have been trained in CPR and are prepared to respond to emergency situations if they arise.London Drugs AEDs - AED Registry

Along with London Drugs, Iridia Medical has been a strong supporter of the AED Registry. “The launch of the AED Registry is a critical link in the chain of survival that can potentially save more lives in our communities” says Dr. Allan Holmes, founder of Iridia Medical.

In 2013 alone, the BCEHS responded to 3,068 cardiac arrests. Sudden Cardiac Arrests are the leading cause of non-accident deaths among British Columbians. Along with the registry, the provincial government and Heart and Stroke foundation are working to have 750 defibrillators installed throughout the province.

Organizations that received an AED from the BC PAD Program have already had their devices added to the BC AED Registry. If you have a business or organization which has an AED near a public area, you can register your device through the BC PAD Website.

We’ve created a convenient registration guide for people wishing to sign up. Download it here.

Any client who has purchased an AED from Iridia Medical can reach out if they are in need of device specific information for registering their device.

Patient Safety in the Dental Office

Midwinter Clinic

Is your dental practice as safe as it could be? In this blog we’ll be discussing several ways dentists can enhance patient safety in the dental office. If you’d like to learn even more, visit Iridia at booth #36 at this years’ Midwinter clinic!

At last years’ Midwinter Clinic, we showcased our AEDs, promoted our education courses and supported Dr. Jamie Renwick, one of our physician consultants and instructors, on his presentation about the practical management of life threatening dental emergencies.

Dr. Renwick’s presentation was engaging and provided dentists with key information to enhance the safety of their practice. Dozens of dentists visited our booth afterwards and inquired about the purchase of an AED for their clinic and the specialized training courses we can provide. In response of the positive feedback and in anticipation of the Pacific Dental Conference, we wanted to share some of the key points from Dr. Renwick’s presentation to build awareness for both dentists and their patients.

As Dr. Renwick mentioned in his presentation, life threatening injuries aren’t common in the dental office, but they do happen.  With this in mind, below are some best practices to developing an effective response to medical emergencies in the dental office.

1. Know your patients

Knowing your patients’ medical histories will help you make better decisions in critical situations –update them at each visit.

2. Anxiety reduction

Anxiety is a major factor causing medical emergencies in the dental office – syncope, panic attacks, asthma, and angina can all be precipitated by anxiety.  Attempt to identify anxious patients and try to reduce the waiting times prior to any procedure.  For many patients, providing detailed explanations of procedures may reduce anxiety.

3. Prepare and Practice for Emergencies

All staff members should be trained in Basic Life Support (BLS) – this includes the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator – more on this later.  It’s always a good idea if staff takes BLS together; learning to respond to an emergency as a team is crucial to optimal patient outcomes. Consider developing formal emergency response policies and posting response process algorithms in visible areas –this will help keep response procedures fresh in everyone’s mind.  Lastly, don’t forget to rehearse and practice emergency response simulations with your entire staff at least every 2 years.

Life Support Education

4. Assemble a Resuscitation Kit

Having all essential drugs and equipment in one place will save time and keep you organized when you’re responding to an emergency situation – it will also help keep you calm.  Consider including items such as an Epinephrine auto-injector, Ventolin inhalers, and H1/H2 blockers.

5. Lifesaving Equipment

AEDs are everywhere these days and many dentists are opting to have one in their office for cardiac emergencies; many US states have mandated that dentists have an AED in their facility.  Similarly, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC proposed new changes to policy regulating the practice of minimal and moderate sedation for dentists in BC.  One of these proposed changes called for a mandatory installation of AEDs in dental facilities providing certain procedures. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) affects all ages and for every minute that lapses before defibrillation, your patients’ survival rates will decrease by 10% – consider purchasing an AED for your office to give patients the best chance for survival.


As life expectancy increase, dentists are treating a growing number of medically compromised patients, increasing the likelihood of a medical emergency during treatment; what’s more, is that emergencies like SCA can happen to anyone at any time.  Enhancing the safety of your practice through improved policy, training, and equipment will ensure you and your staff respond to medical emergencies with the best versions of yourselves.

As a leading provider of AEDs, medical education, and medical equipment, we’re confident that taking the steps to enhance the safety of your practice is an investment that will pay returns to both your business and your patients.

For more information about AEDs, contact Julie Turley .

Working on Wellness at Oil and Gas Camps

Oil and Gas Camp

What is Working on Wellness?

Working on Wellness (WoW) is a pilot program which Iridia will be helping to implement at BC oil and gas camps. It is part of a larger project to adapt workplace wellness programming for specific groups in BC, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Working on Wellness is based on the WellnessFits program (, that was developed and run by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Before WoW started in November, camp employees were asked to complete a survey or participate in a group discussion to identify which health and wellness topics are of the highest interest to those working on-site. Potential topics included: healthy eating, physical activity, healthy minds, early detection, tobacco reduction and UV/Sun Awareness.

In June, baseline surveys were conducted and analyzed. Results suggested that camp workers were most interested in learning about healthy eating, physical activity, screening and early detection. Camp workers also stated that the most important change they would like to see in a workplace wellness program would be an increase in physical activity and improved eating habits.

Next Steps

Based on the results and discussions with Iridia medics in camp, action plans surrounding the concepts of Educate, Act and Support were developed:

  • Educate - Sharing stretching information and tips at safety meetings, on posters around the camp and/ or hosting education times to present information about health screening, healthy options at camp, or healthy meal ideas for home.
  • Act - Providing opportunities for employees to practice making healthier choices, for example, running a healthy eating challenge and/or organizing an evening workout group.
  • Support - Making changes to the work environment and/or implementing policies that support employees in making healthier choices such as implementing a respectful workplace policy or working with food services to increase uptake of healthy foods.

Working on Wellness

The first component started in November using the theme of “Protect your Equipment.” Blood pressure clinics and physical activity initiatives soon followed and in the New Year we will begin nutritional and mental wellness trials. WoW will wrap up in the Fall of 2016, leaving behind resources to continue running the program through a model which involves onsite health personnel.

Benefits of Working on Wellness

The camps that participate in the program will receive:

  • Assistance with planning the program to ensure learning opportunities are available
  • Assistance to determine interest in changes within the worksite or policies to support healthy choices
  • Training and ongoing mentoring for a worksite champion
  • Program resources (posters, booklets, handouts etc.)
  • Financial support for incentives and events to celebrate throughout the year

Our Role

The Canadian Cancer Society has chosen Iridia as a partner because of our unique position of having health care providers living or working in camp environments. This is a very exciting opportunity for us as little research has been conducted in these types of environments. It is an opportunity for us to promote healthy workplaces while developing new partners and relationships in the healthcare sector.


Client Focus is at Our Core

Client focus

Client focus  is a big deal at Iridia. We’re always talking about them, thinking about them, and working hard for them – clients are at the forefront of everything we do. Not all of our staff are “client-facing,” in other words, we don’t all talk to or deal with clients on a daily basis, but we all know who we’re working for!

At our monthly staff meetings we report on each of our service areas, and without fail, those reports include how we are meeting our clients’ needs, or where we might need to develop new and creative ways to meet their needs.

Our founder, Dr. Allan Holmes, told the staff the story of how and why he started Iridia  17 years ago. It was to meet a need, and meeting client needs continues to be the heartbeat of Iridia today. Our philosophy of being responsive to client needs shows up in how we hire, how we focus our teams, and how we structure the company.



We want to be #1 in our clients’ eyes. We want their trust so that they keep doing business with us and speak well of us in the industry. Client focus takes hard work and we’re 100% committed to it.


What’s the Big Deal About Core Values Anyway?

“In an age of increasing global and local competition, the ability of an organization to build a culture that attracts and retains talented people is rapidly emerging as the most important criterion for financial success. Executives and employees are searching for organizations that will support them in their personal and professional growth. They want to work for companies that are not only great places to work, but are also socially responsible and embrace sustainable development. They want to feel a sense of alignment between their personal values and their company values. There is significant evidence to suggest that organizations that focus on values alignment are the most successful financially.”

Richard Barrett author of ‘Building a Values-Driven Organization‘ (2006)

core values

Core Values

Core values, alignment, triple bottom line, social responsibility, values-driven business – these are all buzz words popular in business culture today, and they are strategically important to drive business and impact decisions. But if they don’t mean anything to the people who work in the company, their value is little more than the print on the page. Under the pressure of modern day business, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters, and that’s why core values are important. They form the foundation – the “centre” if you will – of a company’s business actions and daily decisions. Employees must sense that core values are more than posters on a wall and have a direct relationship to how business is done, or the values will remain flat, unembraced and having little impact.

On a blog post in the Harvard Business Review, Tony Hsieh, the American entrepreneur who founded, which was sold to Amazon for $US1.18 billion, said that their core values were important to keep the company focused as it grew. In a space of just 10 years, Zappos grew from almost no sales to more than $US1 billion in annual revenue. With this kind of growth you can imagine how challenging it must have been to maintain the business culture across all departments and with all employees. Core values were what drove hiring, informed policies, affected decisions, and maintained the dynamic culture that has made the company what it is today. Zappos employees demonstrates the company’s core values because they understand them, believe them, and clearly see the application to how they do their jobs every day.

At Iridia, we strive to bring our core values alive and at the forefront of business. We encourage employees to think about what they do in the context of those values. We ask questions, make decisions, and conduct business in a way that reflects those values. When they don’t, we want to know about it!

Over the next few posts, we will be writing about each of our eight core values and how we live and breathe them in our day-to-day at Iridia. Core values truly do define a company, and alignment between those values and corporate behaviour is an unstoppable dynamic that sets apart the good from the great.


It’s Time for Your Flu Vaccine

flu vaccineWinter is Coming

… and it’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and take a shot for the team – yes, the flu vaccine is once again making its way to the Iridia office where we make arrangements to host a clinic and offer flu vaccinations for our employees.

The flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect against and stop the spread of seasonal influenza.

Iridia highly recommends immunizations for all, but especially for those in high-risk groups. High-risk groups include: seniors, people with chronic health conditions (especially heart or lung conditions), aboriginal people, or those with compromised immune systems.

The influenza vaccine is extremely safe, very effective and helps to prevent infection in healthy adults by up to 80 percent.

How Does the Flu Vaccine Work?

  • The vaccine contains antigens: harmless substances (such as dead bacteria or molecules) associated with the disease.
  • The body thinks the antigens are the disease itself, and its immune system starts creating antibodies: proteins that can hone in on that disease’s bacteria or viruses.
  • Now the immune system knows how to create antibodies against the disease. And if that disease attacks your body, your immune system is ready to fight it off.

 Other Key Information

  • Influenza causes the most deaths among vaccine-preventable diseases
  • In addition to being a quality and safety issue, improved influenza vaccination coverage helps to reduce rates of employee illness
  • Flu shots are traditionally available around Thanksgiving each year.
  • Flu season typically runs from late November/early December through to the end of March. 
  • B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement mandatory vaccinations for health care workers

Iridia is here to enable peace of mind – so once again, please help us by spreading the word and remember it’s much easier and more cost-effective to prevent a disease than to treat it. That’s exactly what immunizations aim to do. 

Find a vaccination clinic in BC


AED Shopping? Read our AED Buyers Guide First

Types of defibrillators - Buy an AED

When buying an automated external defibrillator (AED), choosing a model can be a daunting task. When evaluating a defibrillator, you don’t need an exhaustive background in electronics or cardiac medicine, but with a growing number of manufacturers and a plethora of models and features, how can you know which type of AED will suit your needs?

Keep in mind that all defibrillators do one fundamental thing: they deliver an electric shock that resets the heart’s natural pacemaker and converts an irregular, unstable heart rhythm to a sustainable one. To accomplish this, all AED’s possess three basic elements: a battery that provides energy for the cardiac shock; a main unit that analyzes heart rhythms and generates the electrical charge; and the electrodes, or pads, that deliver the shock to the patient.

These similarities lead some to believe that all AED’s are the same, but there are differences. The features that distinguish defibrillators are component quality, user interface, and innovations in technology.

AED Buyers Guide


Getting to know a few simple details will quickly determine the overall quality of an AED:

  • Better quality AEDs use medical-grade, lithium-ion batteries and do not rely on any secondary source of power to run self-checks or power the unit.
  • Many units use a diagram to show the proper placement for electrodes and the polarity (positive or negative) of each.  The best public-use AED’s simplify this process and use non-polarized electrodes that can be placed interchangeably.
  • Most Health-Canada approved AEDs have been drop tested to just over a meter and are designed to survive rough treatment.

Cardiac Science AED - Buying AED

A product specification associated with durability of any electronic equipment is the IPX rating.  The IP Code is an International (or Ingress) Protection Rating and is expressed as IP followed by a two-digit number. The first digit indicates the level of protection against particles such as dust or dirt; the second gives the level of protection from water. The higher the number, the greater the resistance. Every AED has an IP Code which can usually be found in the user’s manual.


The most visible features that differentiate AED’s are those that indicated ease of use and quality of performance.  As public access defibrillation programs become more commonplace, simplicity in design and use become paramount.  There are a few factors to consider when purchasing an AED:

  • How many buttons (if any) do I have to push for a shock?
  • Are there voice prompts and a display to guide me during a rescue?
  • Will the unit’s prompts assist me with delivering CPR to the victim?

Many units run daily, weekly and monthly self checks.  It is important to purchase a unit that checks issues such as the presence of electrodes, pad connectivity, battery life and wire conductivity as they increase the potential life of your unit.

Lifepak AED

Time spent remembering or figuring out how an AED works and how to apply the pads can make the difference between a save and a non-save when using a defibrillator.  Features that limit this time are invaluable.


The most important component of an AED’s design is the technology used to deliver a shock.

There are two methods of shock delivery:  fixed energy and escalating energy. With fixed energy, a shock is delivered once at a given level measured in joules (J), and then subsequently redelivered until there is a correction in the heart’s rhythm. With escalating energy, if the first shock is unsuccessful, the AED progressively increases the energy of subsequent shocks until reaching the maximum allowable number of joules and redelivers shocks at that level.

When purchasing an AED, it is important to find a unit that is not only capable of escalating the shock energy, but of doing so beyond 200J. While an initial shock of 200J is usually successful in an out-of-hospital environment, there are exceptions and escalation above 200J is necessary to maintain success for multi-shock patients. In cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), refibrillation is not just common, it is expected… as long as the AED is up to the task.


There are some costs associated with buying and setting up an AED. Making an informed purchase decision ensures that the hard-earned money you to spend will give a potential SCA victim the very best chance of survival. 

Free CPR and AED Training Events!

If someone dropped to the ground in front of you in sudden cardiac arrest, would you know what to do? Unfortunately, many would not.

A person suffering a sudden cardiac arrest needs immediate help with CPR and an AED (automated external defibrillator). Early CPR and AED use within the first minute doubles the chance of survival.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation wants to improve survival rates by teaching more people CPR and AED use, so that when someone has a cardiac arrest, there will be someone close by who knows what to do.

You can do your part. You can be ready to save a life.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is offering three regional CPR/AED training events in BC in November. Everyone is welcome to take the free training. You can join them and bring your friends and family. Events will also have blood pressure checks and information on healthy lifestyles.

Free CPR and AED Training Event Information (click on enlarge):

Free CPR Vancouver

For information, please contact:

Shelley Parker
Heart and Stroke Foundation, Resuscitation Program Manager


Iridia in the Community Wrap Up

Iridia in the Community

Our Iridia in the Community initiative has wrapped up and we’d like to thank our staff for participating in the activity. The goal of Iridia in the Community was to provide our employees with a unique way of engaging their community through charitable activities. We wanted “community” to be a broad topic and provide no constraints as to what the definition of that was.

What came of this was a wonderful range of unique donations to many different organizations and causes. We’ve provided a brief wrap up video below:

We’d also like to include a list of the various organizations our staff donated to:

We know this event was an excellent experience for our staff and their contributions positively impacted a wide range of organizations. We look forward to bringing you more events like this in the future!