Matters of the heart: Saskatchewan patients benefit from new contracts for cardiac devices

March 10, 2020

Better access for patients living in rural areas, flexibility in device selection for physicians, and opportunities for greater health system savings – these are just some of the results Saskatchewan patients and physicians are seeing due to a new set of contracts for cardiac rhythm disease management (CRDM) devices.

CRDM devices include pacemakers and internal defibrillators as well as electrical leads and accessories.

3sHealth and an Administrative and Clinical team from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) have engaged multiple vendors to supply these devices to Saskatchewan patients. This multi-vendor contract structure brings many benefits to Saskatchewan patients, physicians, and the overall health system, including:

  • Increasing access for Saskatchewan patients;
  • Creating greater harmonization between clinics and device developers for smoother program delivery; and
  • Providing physicians and patients with more options to choose the right device and accessories.
The new contracts are also projected to create savings for the Saskatchewan health system.
 
Better access for the entire province
 

These contracts continue to develop two highly valuable features for patients.

Before remote monitoring, patients had to visit their physicians regularly to have the information from their device monitored. Now, patients can send this information from home, saving time for clinics and patients alike.

Also, sites where patients can have their devices checked and fine-tuned are coming closer to home. Previously, Saskatchewan patients had to drive to either Regina or Saskatoon to receive care. Now that the clinics in Swift Current and Yorkton have remote access, the Regina and Saskatoon clinics can review patient information gathered by the CRDM devices just as well as if the patient had come in personally.

The SHA is exploring additional satellite sites throughout Saskatchewan to expand these services based on patient location and need. These new sites will further reduce the time, cost, and risks of travel for patients.

Flexibility in device selection
 

The heart is an amazing organ: it pumps all of the body’s blood through the circulatory system thousands of times a day while never taking a break. Problems that arise with the heart’s electrical system may require different CRDM solutions, depending on the patient’s needs.

Typically, product standardization can improve quality and safety outcomes. However, in some circumstances, multiple vendors and product choices are more appropriate. A multi-vendor style of contract allows physicians and patients to have more cardiac rhythm disease management device options to choose from. This greater selection helps patients receive the device that is best suited to them.

Learn more by reading this story from the Saskatchewan Health Authority about “Swift Current clients getting better access to cardiac care.”


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