Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise (RACE) is a program designed to increase family physician access to specialist consultation and to improve communication and knowledge transfer between different care providers.
RACE is a joint project of the Shared Care Committee—a committee of the BC Medical Association (BCMA) and Ministry of Health (MoH)—Providence Health Care (PHC), and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). It is one of many projects comprising the Shared Care Committee's Partners in Care initiative and serves as a model for similar systems being developed at a number of sites around the province.
RACE grew from what was originally a pilot project in 2008 between the PHC Department of Family Medicine and Division of Cardiology; funding from the joint BCMA/MoH Specialist Services Committee provided the financial support for cardiologists’ time spent answering calls.
RACE expandsWith funding from the Shared Care Committee, PHC was able to expand the service and formally launch RACE with a broader range of specialists in June 2010. New specialties are added based on the needs of family physicians, and compensation for specialists' time is provided by the Specialist Services Committee.
Today family physicians in the VCH region can phone one number to speak to specialists in multiple fields.
How it works
Callers can select from various specialty services available, provide information regarding a patient’s condition and its apparent causes, including background information related to the patient’s condition, and request advice on how to proceed. If a specialist is not available immediately, he or she will return the call within 2 hours (the majority of calls are returned within 10 minutes), and provide practical guidance and advice regarding assessment, management, and treatment plans for the patient.
Calls average from 5 to 15 minutes in length. Physicians are compensated for participating.
Phone number and hours of operation
RACE phone numbers: 604-696-2131, or toll free 1-877-696-2131
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m.