Cardiologists at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) have performed almost 2,000 cardiac angioplasties since the first cardiac procedure was performed two years ago.
Wait times for the life-saving procedure have been reduced by 87 per cent, and the survival rate is well above the national average.
Of the 1,885 percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) - also known as angioplasties - performed at KGH since Nov. 16, 2009, almost half involved patients from outside the Okanagan region:
- Okanagan-Similkameen: 55.3 per cent
- Thompson-Cariboo: 26.3 per cent
- Kootenay-Boundary: 11.9 per cent
- East Kootenay: 1.5 per cent
- Non-residents: 4.7 per cent
Prior to the start of the Interior Health PCI Program in November 2009, the median wait time in hospital for Southern Interior residents needing a cardiac angioplasty was 3.7 days, not including the time and expense involved in travelling to the Lower Mainland for treatment.
The median wait time is now just under half a day, and travel distances to Kelowna are much shorter for all patients and their families.
The national average mortality rate for PCI patients is 1.69 per 100. The average mortality rate for patients in the IH program is 0.53 per 100 (risk adjusted).
PCIs were previously only performed at four hospitals in British Columbia: Royal Columbian Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital.
The Interior Health Cardiac Revascularization Program is operating in collaboration with the other cardiac centres in the province. Cardiac services are provided by Cardiac Services BC, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. It works with the regional health authorities, including Interior Health, to promote best practices and evidence-based cardiac care.
Cardiac services are being rolled out at KGH in a phased approach. This started with the Transition Plan, which included up to $27 million in upgrades and new equipment, and will see doctors performing heart surgeries at KGH beginning in December 2012. The final phase will include a brand new cardiac care and surgical centre - the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre (IHSC) Building.
The IHSC Building is part of the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre Project, which includes the East Pandosy Clinical Support Building as well as renovations and fit-outs of existing buildings at KGH. The total value of the IHSC project is $448 million with $357 million from the Province and $91 million from the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District and is expected to be complete in 2017.
Over the next three years, British Columbia's health-care system will benefit from investments such as the IHSC as part of a $2.1-billion health sector capital plan.
Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart -
"Over the past two years, KGH has managed to reduce its wait times for 2,000 patients to just half a day, with a mortality rate well below the national average -- that means better patient care for thousands of Interior residents."
Interior Health board chair Norman Embree -
"The statistics speak for themselves. By expanding services to include cardiac care, we are improving health outcomes for patients throughout the Southern Interior."
Interior Health PCI Program Director and Cardiologist Dr. Richard Townley -
"By being able to do PCI procedures here in the Southern Interior we are saving more lives and making things easier emotionally and financially for our patients and their families. As a doctor, I couldn't ask for a bigger reward."
- A total of 1,885 PCI procedures have been performed at KGH between Nov. 16, 2009 and Oct. 14, 2011.
- Almost half of those procedures have been performed on patients from outside the Okanagan.
- PCI procedure wait times for Southern Interior residents have been reduced from a median of 3.7 days to 0.5 days.
- Survival rates for Southern Interior PCI patients have increased from 88 per cent in 2005-06 to 97 per cent in 2010-11.
- Once fully operational, the Interior Health Cardiac Revascularization Program will see 600 cardiac surgeries performed, along with almost 1,000 PCI procedures a year.
Visit the project website at: www.buildingpatientcare.ca
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line) Cam McAlpine