Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital – Never judge a library by its covers

By Timothy Schafer, Trail Daily Times

A new library service within the city’s hospital is expected to help Greater Trail attract and retain qualified healthcare professionals.

A result of the partnership between the UBC Faculty of Medicine Southern Medical Program (SMP) and Interior Health Authority, the library on the third floor of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) will provide full resources for all health disciplines within the hospital, and support third year medical students based at KBRH.

Bringing together 2,000 e-journals, thousands of books (through inter-library loan), e-books and online nursing and medical tools through three computer workstations, the library will buttress the pursuit of healthy knowledge at KBRH.

Ruth Rochlin, IH library manager for the Okanagan and West Kootenay, said although the service is for all Interior Health staff and the students, it will have spin-off benefits for people in Greater Trail who utilize the hospital.

“For the community, this means we can train and attract and recruit people ultimately to the rural areas,” she said. “That’s the whole reason why the distributed education program has been brought down.”

The library allows physicians in remote and rural areas to actually feel like they are able to have the same sort of resources as elsewhere, said Dr. Cheryl Hume, Integrated Community Clerkships site director for UBC’s SMP.

The library supports the doctors but it also supports the local medical and nursing staff and other health care staff to keep current, she added, to keep up-to-date with their medical practice.

“It means we will take an active role in training medical students that will come back to practice in the rural areas, and that’s part of the initiative here,” Hume said about the pilot project.

Rochlin concurred.

“People in the more outlying areas need more access to the electronic information because they have fewer professional colleagues to discuss things with.”

The Integrated Community Clerkships (ICC) provides experience for students who are interested in practicing family and specialty medicine in a smaller community like Greater Trail.

The ICC program uses an interdisciplinary team approach to medicine, with students exposed to a model of patient care “whereby family physicians work in close collaboration” with a network of specialists.

In addition to caring for patients in a hospital setting, ICC students in Trail look after patients in various ambulatory settings and gain clinical and procedural experience.

The costs of the library are embedded in the IHA’s budget for the four regional hospitals — including Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops — but the KBRH day-to-day maintenance will now be handled by health records staff.

Local physicians who have joined UBC clinical faculty and the medical students can also access UBC library e-resources, supported by UBC librarian Diana Bang.