Looking Back on our First Year as Iridia Medical

Brand Launch

This month marks a very special anniversary in our company’s history – being one year since we re-branded from Global Medical Services to Iridia Medical. 

Many of you lived some of that journey with us as we shared with you the triumphs and challenges associated with changing to a new brand identity and bringing that identity to life through new marketing materials, a new website and Social Media presence, new building signage, documents, email addresses, and so on.  The sheer amount of work involved in the re-brand was staggering and could not have been achieved without the collective efforts of the Iridia team and others with whom we engaged throughout the journey. 

So what has our first year as Iridia Medical involved?

We kicked off our year under our new brand with the deployment of our Mobile Medical Unit into a remote oil and gas camp in Northeastern BC.  This has been one of our most innovative projects to date and is an industry first in British Columbia. It allows ill and injured workers in these remote camps to receive, in many cases, definitive medical care which enables them to stay in camp and avoid the hazards of transport to another medical facility; particularly at certain times of the year when extreme weather conditions can make emergency evacuation close to impossible.

We also saw Iridia named as a key partner in two public access to defibrillation (PAD) programs – the BC Heart and Stroke PAD Program and the National AED Program Federal Initiative. The BC initiative will see 450 AEDs and associated training delivered to communities throughout BC.  The national program will see a targeted 3,000 AEDs distributed to recreational facilities, mostly arenas, across the country.  The initiative will also see 30,000 people trained in the use of AEDs.  Iridia is a key distributor for each of these programs and we are proud to be involved with these life-saving initiatives.

In recognition of the growth we have achieved in the past few years, Iridia was again named one of Business in Vancouver’s top 100 fastest growing companies for the third year running.  We were also proud to have been included in PROFIT Magazine’s list of Canada’s Top 500 Growing Companies for 2013. 

Finally, our commitment to health and wellness continued throughout the year with, most notably, our participation in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).  This program is designed to “get the world moving” and that is, in fact, what occurred with 37,432 teams (that’s 262,000 people!) from around the world participating in the 2013 GCC program.  21 of Iridia’s staff participated and some incredible accomplishments were achieved during the 4 months of the program.

Our First Year

The above highlights are just a select few of the key accomplishments we’ve achieved during our first year as Iridia Medical which has certainly been an exciting and action-packed one!  Looking forward, we are energized by the goals we have set for ourselves including expanding our remote medical services program both within and beyond BC, and building on our education and AED programs.  Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Enhancing First Responder SkillSets: EpiPens

Fire Fighter FIrst Responder LicenseIn this blog series, we’re going to discuss how we’ve helped many British Columbia fire departments enhance their patient care skills in order to provide better care in the field.

Firefighters are often the first emergency response personnel on the scene of an emergency, but are not permitted to use certain medical devices, like an epi auto-injector.   When there are BC Ambulance service delays or firefighters find themselves in remote rescue scenarios, it is beneficial to the patient if firefighters have the skills to assist patients to use life-saving medications.   This is why Iridia Medical continues to support first responders improving their patient care skills.

These days, firefighters can be in direct contact with BCAS dispatchers – key information about a patient’s condition can be immediately communicated between both parties.  This removes ambiguity and allows the BCAS to monitor and guide firefighters on how to best assist a patient with their Epi-pen.  With this enhanced communication and improved skillsets, firefighters are able to provide better patient care.   “We have taken an active role in providing this training because it is the right thing to do for patients” says Dr. Allan Holmes, Founder of Iridia Medical.  “What kind of care would you want a loved one to receive during a severe allergic reaction?” is the logic behind offering epi-pen training.

Today’s example will look at how Epinephrine Auto-injectors can positively impact patient outcomes.

Epinephrine Auto-injector

Considerable educational efforts have been undertaken so that teachers, coaches, and babysitters feel confident administering epi auto-injectors.  Unfortunately, firefighters with first responder licenses are not provided the same discretion.

Iridia has been actively supporting and training fire first responders to assist patients with administering their epi auto-injectors in emergency situations.  We support fire first responders enhancing their patient care skillset because:

  • Fire first responders are often first on the scene of a medical emergency – waiting several minutes for an ambulance to administer an epi auto-injector could negatively impact the patient.
  • Currently, fire first responders and BCAS can only administer oxygen to a patient they believe is having an allergic reaction – there is no provision in their current  training program to instruct FR on how  to assist a patient with an epi auto-injector.

epi pen auto injector

In the best case scenario, the patient is lucid enough to administer their epi auto-injector.  However, if a patient is panicking and can’t self-administer the medication (or has fallen unconscious), Iridia has trained first responders to act.  Our epi auto-injector program teaches first responders how to recognize allergic reaction indicators as well as when and how an epi-pen should be used[1]; and just as important, when it should not be used – skills we believe every first responder should know.

During a serious allergic reaction every second counts.  Delaying the administration of epinephrine can have serious consequences.  Providing first responders the discretion to assist and administer epi auto-injectors when they arrive on the scene of an allergic reaction emergency has the potential to significantly improve a patient’s outcome and reduces the potential for a sometimes fatal outcome.  

[1] Upon patient consent and oversight support from BCAS dispatch.

We Can Help Enhance Your First Responder Skills

Enhancing patient care skills requires coordinating many moving parts.  Training, equipment, and a medical oversight framework need to be considered.  In addition, it’s important that fire departments understand current regulations and the limitations of their current first responder license.  Over the past decade, Iridia Medical has successfully assisted fire departments of all sizes in implementing Epi auto-injector, pulse oximeter, and blood pressure measurement programs.

To learn more, contact Jason Bradley (jbradley@iridiamedical.com), Fire Services Program Lead, to get you started.

 

 

Do You Know Your Heart Disease Risk?

heart disease risk

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is a term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart. Diseases that fall under the definition of heart disease include coronary artery disease; cardiac arrest, heart infections and heart defects you’re born with.

What’s Your Heart Disease Risk?

Unfortunately there’s no definitive measurement to gauge the likelihood of suffering a cardiac emergency – reducing your heart disease risk is your best strategy. Steps to take include regular checkups, screening for heart disease, and living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

It is a little known fact that heart disease accounts for 20 percent of all Canadian deaths and 90 percent of Canadians have at least one of the following risk factors:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Stress 

For more information on risk factors, we recommend you assess yourself with the H&S Risk Calculator – a personalized tool to help you find out what’s putting you at risk.

 

Heart Disease Outlook

With obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes on the rise, it is expected that the incidence of heart disease and stroke will swell in upcoming generations. Lifestyle changes have led to sedentary work environments, poor diets, high sodium intake and increased stress which all contribute to heart disease.

Heart Disease Facts

  • Every day, heart disease and stroke lead to nearly 1,000 hospital visits
  • Heart disease and stroke rob Canadians of nearly 250,000 potential years of life
  • Heart disease and stroke kills more women than men, a fact that many women may not realize
  • Today, less than 10% of children meet recommended physical activity guidelines and less than half eat the recommended fruit and vegetables for optimum health

The most important line of defense is to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle that can guard against heart disease before it strikes.

 

 

Driving Innovation With Our Mobile Medical Unit

In early 2013, Iridia accomplished one of its most innovative projects to date – the design, building and deployment of a mobile medical unit (MMU) in a remote oil and gas camp in Northeastern BC. 

The MMU is an industry first in British Columbia and was born out of the need for enhanced on-site medical treatment options for remote oil and gas camps.  During certain times of the year, evacuation of emergency or non-emergent patients can be impossible due to the weather conditions which then require the patient to remain in camp for extended periods of time.  With the deployment of the MMU, ill and injured workers can, in many cases, receive definitive care which enables them to stay in camp and avoid the hazards of transport to another medical facility.  

What exactly is the Mobile Medical Unit?

We like to describe the MMU as an RV on steroids!

It is a 53-foot trailer that expands to become a 1000 square foot workspace. It is fully equipped with equipment that would be found in a small hospital including a mini-lab, pharmacy, x-ray machine, and some of the latest diagnostic equipment, as well as with simple over-the-counter medications, antibiotics and narcotics for pain management. It is designed to house multiple patients for an extended period of time and is staffed 24/7 by an emergency trained physician. 

MMU Mobile Medical Unit MMU Mobile Medical Unit

By providing this facility in a remote camp, not only will it provide enhanced care for our patients, but it will also serve as an opportunity to study how this care model can impact the health and wellness of a camp population.

The Iridia MMU is one of only two mobile hospitals in British Columbia, with the other having been funded by the BC Government to support the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.  It is one of our greatest accomplishments as a company and speaks to our values of innovation, teamwork and quality.