Surrey Memorial Hospital Sneak Preview

Surrey Memorial Hospital Emergency Department

Surrey Memorial Hospital Sneak Peak

Last month, Iridia attended a public sneak preview of the new Surrey Memorial Hospital emergency department – part of a $512 million redevelopment and expansion.

The sneak preview included a behind-the-scenes tour of the new 5,295-square-metre (57,000-square-foot) space, which is five times bigger than Surrey’s current ER and organized into specific areas and zones to provide efficient, patient-centred care.

The tour also included the separate pediatric emergency department that will serve families throughout the Fraser Health region.

The new ER is an essential part of BC’s growing healthcare services. Surrey’s existing ER was built in 1991 for 44,000 patient visits a year. In 2012, it treated almost 100,000 people. As a result, BC’s busiest ER is often overcrowded. The new ER will change that.

“This new ER will allow health-care workers to deliver exceptional care to individuals and families in a much larger, more modern facility,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “When it opens to the public in October, it will be Canada’s second-largest emergency department, and something for which Surrey residents and British Columbians can feel proud.”

“As a large regional hospital, Surrey Memorial serves residents from the surrounding communities as well as right here in Surrey,” said Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender. “This new, much larger and more modern emergency department will make a huge difference to patients all across the Lower Mainland and their families, providing them with high quality, patient-focused care.

Surrey Memorial Hospital Emergency Department

Sneak Preview Brochure – Click to open

The Critical Care Tower

The centerpiece of the expansion is an eight-storey Critical Care Tower, fully equipped with the following: 

  • 48 private rooms in a neonatal centre of excellence, with adjacent paediatric pharmacy
  • 25 Intensive Care beds
  • 20 beds for seriously ill patients in the High Acuity Unit, plus six more beds on the same floor
  • Two medical floors of 36 beds each
  • An expanded laboratory
  • A rooftop helipad
  • More than 440 new parking stalls
  • Additional space for SMH’s clinical academic campus

The Surrey Memorial Hospital expansion will address capacity and efficiency well into the future. Iridia is excited to be taking this journey with Fraser Health and look forward to all the benefits the new emergency department will provide once it opens on October 1st.

The team at Iridia has been engaged in the Surrey Memorial Hospital project through assistance in the area of clinical and non-clinical physician services.


Atrial Fibrillation Diagnosed by iPhone App

AliveCor ECG for Atrial Fibrillation

The Research

We are always interested in healthcare developments and exciting new medical apps at Iridia, and recently we came across a study about a new ECG app for the iPhone that looks to be very promising. The study has found the AliveCor ECG Monitor and app for iPhone is a highly-effective, accurate and a cost-effective way to screen patients for undiagnosed atrial fibrillation.

Senior author of the study, Professor Ben Freedman, said that the device was an exciting breakthrough and would greatly improve early identification of atrial fibrillation and stroke.

“The ECG allows us to screen patients for atrial fibrillation in minutes, and treat people early. This is a huge boost in the fight to reduce the amount of strokes, particularly in people over the age of 65,” says Freedman.

Lead author Nicole Lowres mentions that half of those with known atrial fibrillation at the time of screening were unaware of their diagnosis even though many of them were prescribed medication to treat their condition.

Ms Lowres also noted how cost effective screening with the app could be.

“Our economic analysis has shown the AliveCor app is highly cost effective and in fact this is the first mass screening program for atrial fibrillation likely to be cost effective, unlike traditional ECGs,” she said.

The researchers are currently conduction trial screenings in general practice surgeries in Sydney, Australia.

The AliveCor Monitor and App

The app works in conjunction with the AliveCor ECG Monitor, a specialized case/monitor that snaps directly onto your phone. The case can wirelessly communicate with the app on your phone without pairing the two devices.

AliveCor ECG Monitor for Atrial Fibrillation

Once connected, the app detects skin contact on the sensors and when an acceptable connection is made it counts down to begin an ECG recording. When taking a reading, the ECG can be seen on the iPhone screen in real time.

In addition, the ECG is transmitted to a secure cloud server where a specialist can review remotely. The website can automatically analyze the reading to make a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. Research has found it correctly diagnoses atrial fibrillation 97 percent of the time.

Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm problem and is responsible for almost one third of all strokes and it increases with age, affecting more than 15 percent of people aged 85 years and over. People with atrial fibrillation face up to a five-fold increased risk of stroke, and tend to have more severe and life-threatening strokes.

There are currently a large number of people with undiagnosed atrial fibrillation who are at high risk of stroke, but who are not on any medication. The good news is that stroke is highly preventable with medication and early detection, which can reduce the risk by 66 percent.

Learn more about AliveCor.


Immediate Feedback = CPR Success

Ambu Smartman CPR

When we’re trying to learn a new skill, whether it’s learning to play the guitar, writing an essay, or performing CPR, the immediacy of the feedback we receive is a critical factor affecting how quickly we improve our skills.

If, over time, we continually perform an action incorrectly, it becomes more entrenched in our memory – and more difficult to correct at a later time.  Imagine a golfer with a swing that consistently produces a hook.  If after several years she attempts fix her swing, it will be an uphill battle in comparison to addressing the problem the moment the hook first emerged.

The same logic applies to CPR training.

As a leader in the development of medical education workshops, Iridia Medical understands the importance of immediate feedback when learning CPR.  That’s why, earlier this year, we introduced a cutting-edge, new manikin called the Ambu SmartMan in our educational workshops.

The Ambu SmartMan is an award-winning, innovative training tool that helps healthcare providers improve their CPR and Bag-Mask Ventilation skills.  It connects via USB to a computer and provides real-time visual feedback results while students are performing CPR.

The feedback provided assesses performance quality according to:

  • Compression depth and ration
  • Chest recoil during compressions
  • Frequency of ventilations
  • Volume of air and ration of air delivery during compressions

Ambu Smartman CPR Demo

Colour-coded bars depict the quality of each compression and ventilation that is being performed on the manikin.  For example, red bars indicate that chest compressions are not deep enough; upon seeing this information in real-time, the student can quickly adjust her method to achieve the desired green colour.

Ambu SmartMan also allows for two students to practice a coordinated response to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  If students are too slow to initiate CPR, or perform out of sync, the manikin will slowly show vital signs deteriorating. 

Recently, in controlled tests, EMS magazine reported that with only one minute of the Ambu SmartMan feedback training, CPR providers were able to improve their CPR performance from a score of 20% to 80%.

When it comes to CPR, performing the steps quickly, calmly, and at a high level of competency can mean the difference between life and death.  Ambu SmartMan offers an objective means to measure our CPR skills and competency and facilitates continual improvement of CPR skills.

Ambu Smartman CPR Demo

As always, Iridia Medical is dedicated to providing the best equipment, instructors, content, and learning environment to its students. 

We invite you to stop by the office and get your hands on the chest of the AmbuSmartman to see how it can improve your CPR skills! 

For more information on the Ambu SmartMan or any of our upcoming education workshops, please contact us at 604-685-4747.


Looking Back On a Whirlwind Year

With the start of August and another fiscal year now behind us, we at Iridia will be taking some time out to reflect on both what we’ve achieved and learned during the previous 12 months.

While we will be reflecting on the activities and achievements for each department, there are 2 company accolades that were awarded during the year of which we’re both proud and humbled – they are the acknowledgements we’ve received by both PROFIT Magazine and Business in Vancouver for the growth we’ve achieved over the past few years.

Business in vancouver Fastest Growing

Early in our fiscal year, we learned that we had made it onto Business in Vancouver’s list of Top 100 Fastest Growing companies for 2012, the second year running that we found ourselves on this list.  We were thrilled to not only have made it onto this list but to have also moved up the rankings.  We’re definitely moving the business in the right direction and achieving some of the targets we set for ourselves!

Then, in June of this year, we learned that PROFIT Magazine ranked Iridia No. 245 on the 25th annual PROFIT 500!  This is the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies and is determined by assessing businesses on their revenue growth over 5 years.  We share our place on this list with some of Canada’s most successful, entrepreneurial and innovative companies.  We value this honour and the recognition that has resulted from it but, more importantly, we value the opportunities we will have to connect with others who are on a similar journey and benefit from their collective experiences.

Fastest Growing Companies

We want to thank the Iridia team who has tirelessly supported each one of the initiatives we’ve undertaken over the years across each of our 4 service lines.  While it may sound like an over-used expression, our achievements would not have been possible without their dedicated efforts. As a result of these efforts, we can count the following accomplishments as some of our most notable in each of our service areas:

  • PARAMEDICS: Becoming one of B.C.’s largest private employers of paramedics and owner of B.C.’s first privately-owned Mobile Medical Unit, currently stationed in Northern B.C. 
  • AEDS: Installing over 1,700 AED programs across a broad spectrum of industries and becoming a key supplier for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. & Yukon’s Public Access to Defibrillation Program
  • EDUCATION: Providing certification and training of 30,000+ healthcare professionals (ACLS, PALS, CIW, etc.) and lay rescuers (BLS, AED) since 1998
  • CONSULTING: Gaining recognition as a provincial leader in physician engagement consulting services as well as providing advocacy & support for a majority of B.C.’s fire rescue departments

So, what’s in store for Iridia for the next fiscal year?  As with previous years, we have set some lofty goals for where we want to take the business and what we want to achieve.  The team is already making significant in-roads into accomplishing these goals and we are excited about the year ahead!  Stay tuned and enjoy the ride with us!