2012 National Health Leadership Conference

The National Health Leadership Conference

Earlier in June, Iridia’s president, Dr. Allan Holmes had the opportunity to present the physician engagement strategy that was successfully implemented at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC) at the 2012 National Health Leadership Conference (NHLC).

The NHLC brings together senior health administrators from across the country. This year the conference was held in Halifax and provided a chance for Dr. Holmes to re-visit the city he did his rotating internship 25 years ago.

The NHLC delivered a range of workshops, speeches and panel presentations throughout 30 themed sessions. Dr. Holmes’ delivered his physician engagement strategy during: Session 13: Engagement – Networks, partnerships and collaborative

Health Leadership Conference

From the NHLC: “This session will feature presentations on family physician networks in Nova Scotia, successful strategies in physician engagement at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre and lessons learned from the BC Rural Collaborative governance framework.”

For a better understanding of the physician engagement strategy implemented at the JPOCSC, we have provided Dr. Holmes’ slideshow presentation.


[slideshare id=13497548&doc=2012nhlcpresentation24052012-120629145729-phpapp02]

For more information about the National Health Leadership Conference please visit their website: NHLC

Or view the conference program:

Health Leadership Conference

Breaking the Ice – Orienting Physicians to the Pattison Outpatient Centre

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New to Our Pattison Outpatient Blog Series?

Read the preceding posts:

The Final Chapter

In the final posting in this series outlining our accomplishments at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey, we will highlight our work in organizing Education, Training and Orientation (ETO) for physicians to this new facility.

Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre

Prior to opening on June 1st 2011, there was a need for over 175 physicians to be educated on the various clinical services and features of the building, trained on existing and new Fraser Health processes and programs and, finally, oriented to the building.  This need resulted in the development of an orientation program designed by physicians for physicians.

Physician Orientation

Through collaborative efforts with a Physician Orientation team at Fraser Health, Iridia assisted in developing the program, communicating with physicians, and conducting both group and individual orientation sessions prior to the opening of the facility. 

The tour of the facility was led by Iridia employees acting as patients with different “appointments” to attend throughout the Centre. Not only did this provide physicians with a thorough induction to the different clinics within the Centre, it also served as a reminder of the “one-stop” function of the facility. Interspersed with the physical orientation of the building were training sessions on the new computer systems and health and safety policies applicable to the Centre, all conducted by Fraser Health staff.

Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre

The most rewarding part of this whole project?  The fact that all of the 175 physicians attended an orientation session and that over 80% of them rated the clarity of the presentations, usefulness of the site tour and the hands-on computer training as “Good” or “Excellent”.

Evidently, orientation and training doesn’t always have to be boring, even when the sessions are lengthy!  By being mindful of physicians’ time and interests, we were able to create a stimulating orientation program which was able to effectively inform and engage physicians. 

JPOCSC 1-Year Anniversary Speech

On June 1st, Iridia’s founder, Dr. Allan Holmes had the pleasure of delivering a speech to honour the 1-year anniversary of the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC).

Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC)


The event, hosted by the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation brought together individuals from throughout the Fraser Health network to celebrate the important milestone.

Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC).

A transcription of Dr. Holmes’ speech


“It’s my honour to give you a snapshot of the life here during the past year.

We opened June 1st 2011 and up until the end of March 2012 we have seen 225,000 patients.

There are hundreds of people who have provided care to thousands of patients since we opened a year ago.

We have tried to create a vision that equals best practice clinical integration, great workplace.


I would like to share a few examples of the kind of programs, and the type of patients who are seen here.

Breast health

For instance, you’ll find on Level 2 our breast health clinic; where they have set an aggressive target of diagnosing breast cancer within three weeks, instead of the three months.

The women who come here can get their testing done in one day, instead of coming back during multiple appointments.

The program has seen more than 2,700 patients in the past year.

Pain Management

On the third floor, our pain management clinic sees close to 800 patients a month.

Patients like an ex-boxer from Langley who came to the clinic after breaking his wrist and struggling with pain that wasn’t going away.

Because of the care he’s receiving, he’s now able to do things again that others take from granted; like opening doors and holding a cup of coffee.


Our urology program includes a continence clinic on the 4th floor.

The caregivers there have helped hundreds of people improve their quality of life.

Patients like a retired Richmond RCMP corporal who was left incontinent after prostate surgery.

Some exercise and education helped him regain a sense of freedom he felt he had lost.

On a recent cruise, he was able to dance with his wife again without worrying about leakage.

Cardiac Services

Speaking of education, our Cardiac Services provide valuable information so patients who have suffered heart failure, or are at risk of a heart attack can help improve their own health, through self-management.

Primary Care Clinic

Another program here is our Primary Care Clinic, which helps patients who are discharged from Surrey Memorial but don’t have a family doctor to get follow-up care.

More than 3,300 patients have been connected with a primary care provider through this program.


Neurology services are an area that benefited greatly from the generosity of donors last year.

With the direct help of donors to the 100 Days to Give Campaign, Fraser Health recruited a new neurologist who has been working here ever since.

I could continue, but there are about fifty clinics and programs here.

I hope I have helped you get a feel for the role this facility plays in the lives of thousands of people.

Thank you for being a part of it.”

Fraser Health is the largest Health Authority in BC.

From Dr. Holmes’ speech you can get a true sense of the importance of the JPOCSC and of Fraser Health’s commitment to the residents of the Lower Mainland. In 1-year alone it has become a huge success and this is just the beginning.

At Iridia we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on the development of the JPOCSC.


Innovation Corner – SignNow


During our June staff meeting we profiled an app called SignNow.

SignNow is the easiest way to sign a document anywhere you go. You can sign your own documents, or invite clients to sign and close contracts.

To learn more have a look at the Prezi we created to show the app to our staff:


What is the Innovation Corner?

Every month, the whole Iridia team gets together for staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. For the past year we have added a topic to the agenda – the Innovation Corner.

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “hey, innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

“This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.” – Iridia President

Stay tuned for future updates from the Innovative Corner!

Bike to Work Week

During the last week of May, Iridia staff participated in Metro Vancouver’s Bike to Work Week. Bike to Work Week which is a twice annual event, encourages avid cyclists and new riders alike to sign up, log their communities, win prizes, and be part of making Metro Vancouver a better place to live. Improving air quality, reducing road congestion, improving personal health and connecting with their communities are a few of the benefits realized by Bike to Work participants.

This spring’s Bike to Work Week had approximately 4,500 participants, who biked a total of 320,435 logged kilometres! The three person Iridia bike team rode a total of 300km throughout the week.

Bike to Work Week

Aside from the environmental benefits of biking instead of driving, cycling is great for your health! The heart is one of the most important organs for a healthy life but can suffer from an inactive lifestyle. Cycling is ideal for training the heart to be stronger which results in less stress on the heart. All the risk factors that lead to a heart attack are reduced, and regular cycling decreases the likelihood of heart attack by more than 50%. In addition, moderate cycling can prevent, or at least reduce, high blood pressure and help avoid stroke or damage to your organs.

Bike to Work Week

One of Iridia`s Values is Social Responsibility. Bike to Work Week is a great example of how this value goes beyond Iridia`s bottom line and extends into promoting and encouraging practices that are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. Iridia has provided its employees with the facilities and amenities to bike to work and, in turn, directly impacts the amount of greenhouse gasses and other emissions that could be potentially put into the air by driving to work.

Even though Bike to Work Week is over, our staff will continue to bike to work, rain or shine, and we encourage everyone to get out for a cycle!


Bike Route Map of Metro Vancouver 

ICBC Bike tipshttp://www.icbc.com/news/2011may26-04


Setting a Standard for Collaborative Work at the JPOCSC

New to the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre blog series? Check out the introductory post  and part-1 of this series.

JPOCSC Accomplishments

In the second posting in this series outlining our accomplishments at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC) in Surrey, we will highlight our work in establishing a framework for Fraser Health administration and physicians to work together in a way that embraces the Fraser Health vision of “Better health, best in health care”.

Many businesses and organizations, including our own, ask their employees and contractors to sign a document which outlines the standards and responsibilities of the stakeholders to ensure that all professional expectations are clearly understood by all concerned.

At the Pattison Outpatient Centre, there was an opportunity to port this concept to the healthcare world by creating a Statement of Expectations (SOE) between Fraser Health (FH) administration and physicians to ensure patient-centered care was at the forefront in this facility.


Working with the Physician Engagement Team within Fraser Health, Iridia helped to develop an SOE outlining the vision of the facility, expectations between physicians and FH administration, and guidelines for the practice of evidence-based patient care.

When the JPOCSC project was first initiated, 175 physicians scheduled to work at the new facility required privileging (and credentialing if new). The privileging process was amended to include two SOEs – an overarching SOE and a program-specific version unique to the JPOCSC. By August 2011, following several months of collaborative communication and dedication, all 175 physicians representing 25 medical programs at the JPOCSC had signed and agreed to the SOE, thereby demonstrating their commitment to the overall vision of patient-centered care at the JPOCSC.

From Iridia’s perspective, the successful development and implementation of a Statement of Expectations at the Pattison Outpatient Centre was a significant achievement and an exciting contribution to the vision and culture of the facility.

Prince George Fire Rescue – EMR Trial

On June 11th, 2012 our Founder at Iridia, Dr. Allan Holmes spoke to the Prince George City Council to give an update on the Emergency Medical Response (EMR) trial currently underway with Prince George Fire Rescue (PGFR).

As the Medical Director for PGFR, Dr. Holmes was tasked with delivering a presentation summarizing the project to date.

View the presentation:

[slideshare id=13312939&w=425&h=355&sc=no]


Prince George Fire Rescue – Chief John Lane:

“The EMR Program has proven safe, cost effective, and has improved the emergency medical care provided to Prince George’s citizens.  The results have been presented at a meeting of the Provincial Medical Leadership Council (PMLC) on May 10, 2012.  The PMLC was urged to recommend to the Emergency and Health Services Commission (EHSC) that the Prince George EMR Program is made permanent, and that similar initiatives by other Fire Services in BC be approved.  The PMLC was also urged to recommend the EHSC follow provincial regulation and EMA Licensing Branch policy compelling individuals to provide care at their license level at all times.”

Read the full staff report to Prince George City Council:

Prince George Fire Rescue

At Iridia we are thrilled to have the opportunity to have worked with John Lane and Prince George Fire Rescue in the development of the EMR trial. We truly hope this is just the beginning for pre-hospital care.

Bath Salts – Medical Director Update

Dr. Allan Holmes & Dr. Erik Vu
Clinical Snapshot: Bath Salts
Subject: Synthetic cathinones
Street name: “Bath Salts”, “Plant Food”, “Cloud Nine”, “Rave”.

What are “Bath Salts”?

Psychoactive drugs containing MDPV1 have entered the recreational drug market, with a recent surge in the United States (US) and Canada. These products are often labeled as “bath salts” or “plant food,” and have been used legally for decades in parts of the US and Europe. These products are also available for online purchase and may be sold under such names as “Cloud Nine” or “Rave.”

What do “Bath Salts” look like?

MDPV and other analogues (e.g. Mephedrone) are often supplied as white powders. Users can snort or ingest these white or brown amorphous or crystalline powders, but since they are soluble in water, these substances can also be injected.

Bath Salts

What are the effects of “Bath Salts”?

MDPV has a chemical structure similar to MDMA2 or “Ecstasy”. The intended effects are improved attention, energy, and euphoria. Clinical features include altered mental status, agitation, delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, fast heart rate, high blood pressure, chest pain and elevated core body temperature, amongst others.

Why are “Bath Salts” dangerous?

MDPV is used as substitute for other stimulants such as amphetamines, cocaine or ecstasy because it can produce the same effects on the brain. MDPV toxicity can present as excited or agitated delirium. Mainstream media have reported bizarre suicides and homicides. Drug-induced psychosis and aggression appear to be more severe than with other amphetamine-like stimulants.

How do you manage patients high on “Bath Salts”?

Agitated patients require urgent medical assessment. Caution should be used when restraining these patients due to the potential of cardiac arrest in patients with excited delirium.

Summary of Key Points

  • MDPV (i.e. “Bath Salts”), has strong stimulant effects similar to cocaine and amphetamines. This compound can be considered an emerging designer drug of abuse.
  • The psychoactive profile of these drugs has gained popularity with widespread use of this compound as recreational drug, particularly among young people.
  • The marketing of MDPV as “bath salts” or “plants fertilizer” provided false assurances on the safety of this substance as drug of abuse.
  • Current case reports show the potential for severe cardiovascular and central nervous system toxicity.
  • Excited delirium is characterized by delirium with agitation, elevated temperature, elevated heart rate and breathing pattern, and can be followed by a period of “giving up,” or cessation of struggle, followed by cardiac arrest.
  • Use caution when engaging a patient exhibiting these signs or symptoms. Use caution if/when restraining these patients.
  • Considering the limited information about the clinical, pharmacological and toxicological effects of this substance in combination with the potential health risks, the alertness of the medical and law-enforcement community is of great importance in order to mitigate the downstream effects of MDPV use.

Best Regards,

Allan Holmes

Medical Director, Iridia

13,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV
2methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA

Life And Limb at The Pattison Outpatient Centre

New to the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre? Read the introductory post to this 3-part blog series.
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Jim Pattison Outpatient Centre

This series, outlining our accomplishments at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care Centre, begins with looking at the work which Iridia conducted in developing Emergency Response Guidelines for the Centre and ensuring these guidelines properly addressed the outpatient nature of the facility.

(Announcement heard over the intercom): “Code Blue – Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, 3rd floor, room 310.”

Pattison Outpatient Centre

While it is always unfortunate when a Code Blue announcement is heard over the intercom, it is always best to be prepared for such an emergency situation.

The definition of a Code Blue and its response varies from facility to facility; however, it generally refers to a life or limb-threatening event requiring immediate medical attention. At the Pattison Outpatient Centre, the Code Blue response had to be modified to fit the outpatient nature of the facility. The Centre is not a hospital and, consequently, not all of the necessary life-saving equipment and medications are present in the facility. Additionally, as some clinics operate outside of normal business hours, a full complement of staff is not always available. For these reasons, it was clear that a specific Code Blue response was needed for the Centre to ensure that an immediate emergency response could be arranged regardless of time of day or availability of medical staff.

Pattison Outpatient Centre

Together with Fraser Health, Iridia developed such a response and provided Code Blue training for nearly 100 medical staff at the Centre using our instructors who tailored the course to accommodate on-site training. This ensured a transfer of skills in the actual work setting.

In addition to developing a Code Blue response guide for the Centre and training those involved, Iridia also organized a “mock” Code Blue situation that involved representatives from each of the responding teams. A Iridia team member acted in the role of a patient who had a (fake) allergic reaction and needed to be “treated” by the Emergency Response Team. This event was an excellent opportunity for the Emergency Response Team to practice their skills and knowledge of the response strategy for the Pattison Outpatient Centre.

Iridia is a firm believer in the power of teamwork and collaboration. Utilising these two qualities, Iridia was able to work with the Fraser Health team to develop a Code Blue response which is timely, efficient and specific to the Centre, train the medical staff and conduct a scenario in which the relevant staff were able to solidify their skills.

Greatness Within Reach for Iridia?

Greatness Within Reach

As we continue to build the Iridia brand, we are always on the lookout for pearls of wisdom that will aid us in building the best company that we possibly can.  One authority to whom we turn for inspiration is Jim Collins, author of must-have business books Built to Last and Good to Great.  Collins has made a career of studying the world’s best companies.  He analyses and dissects them to identify exactly what makes them tick.

To Collins, a great company is rare find indeed, as it must meet a very specific set of criteria.  In the June edition of Inc. magazine, Collins discloses that greatness according to him is characterized by:

  • Superior Performance,
  • A Distinctive Impact, and
  • Endurance.

At Iridia, we have always pushed ourselves to be the best that we can be.  But can we be great, is greatness within reach?  Can we be Jim Collins great?  Let’s explore!

Superior Performance

Last year Iridia was fortunate enough to find itself being one of the province’s Top 100 Fastest Growing companies.  Although last year was the first we entered the competition, similar levels of growth have been observed at Iridia for some time, including a span of years that included some very tumultuous economic times. 

Greatness Within Reach

If we stay true to our focused strategy, continue to practice principles of fiscal responsibility, there is no reason we can’t maintain current levels of performance.

Distinctive Impact

The article describes this criteria as the George Bailey phenomenon.  More specifically, if a company closed up shop tomorrow, would anyone truly feel the impact?  Would a void be left as was the case when a future without It’s a Wonderful Life’s Bailey Savings and Loan was foretold in the movie? Or would life simply carry on without missing a beat?

While we certainly cannot compare ourselves to George Bailey and what his company did for the community of Bedford Falls, we’d like to think our absence would be noted.  We have worked hard to provide a supportive and rewarding work environment that empowers employees to make a difference in their roles with us.  

In our consulting work, we pride ourselves on removing barriers and limitations that prevent practical, effective health solutions to come forward. Our paramedic services provide unique and specialized care to remote workers that would not otherwise have access to such services. Our AED programs make workplaces safer and our educational services help ensure that our healthcare worker have access to quality education.

While we still have much growth yet to do, we think an argument exists to suggest that our absence would be felt.


At 14 years young this year, we have only just started the equivalent of our business ultra-marathon. That said, we have already weathered many endurance challenges. Economic downturns, competition, changing legislation, and team member turnover have all reared their ugly heads.  Thus far, we have been resilient.  With a diversified portfolio of offerings and an eye toward continued improvement and evolution in all that we do, our prospects for longevity appear strong.

Greatness Within Reach

So, while we do not have a crystal ball, it is our hope that indeed greatness is attainable for the Iridia.

Stay tuned……