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Putting our patients first

Critical care medicine is a highly specialized field of medicine that requires input from many different medical specialties and collaboration from other health care professionals including nursing, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and social work. With this collaborative approach we are able to provide highly patient-centered care in our ICUs, at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, that the people of Nova Scotia have come to depend on.

Since this collaboration shouldn’t be localized to one hospital or one center the provincial clinical service review has identified critical care as one of the four services of interest, stating that a provincial reorganization of critical care would benefit the provincial system significantly. As a result of this review a Provincial Critical Care Advisory Committee was formed through the Department of Health and Wellness to look at the system and how it should evolve. We are pleased to announce that the advisory committee is close to submitting a proposal to the Department of Health and Wellness with suggestions for the restructuring of critical care services in our province, in an effort to improve patient care not only locally but provincially.

Our department takes great pride in the pillars of a university hospital which encompass medical teaching and research. I think it is fair to say that our department contributes heavily to both the undergrad and postgrad medical education at Dalhousie University and is strongly represented nationally through memberships and committees. Many of our department members sit on national exam boards and participate in national education initiatives such as Acute Critical Events Simulation (ACES). Our research group also collaborates on a national level with the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG) and shows exemplary results with recruitment and contribution to those large multi-center trials.

Successfully accomplishing the modern approach of critical care as a multi-disciplinary team requires the effort of many individuals. However our critical care team is always looking to improve and advance their practice keeping the patient’s best interest at heart.

Dr. Tobias Witter
Interim Department head, Department of Critical Care, Dalhousie Medical School
Interim Chief, Critical Care Services, Central Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority