Western Emergency Department Operations Conference 2018 (WEDOC)

Western Emergency Department Operations Conference 2018 (WEDOC)

+ Preconference Courses Apr 18th

Target Audience:

Administrators, decision-makers, ED clinicians and allied health providers, nurses, and physicians

Course Format: Plenary, panel discussion, group discussion, Q&A
The Fairmont Empress
721 Government St
Full-Sized Map


Update as of April 16th

  • Online registration is now closed, but onsite registration is available! See everyone soon!
  • Updated agenda is now online.


Connect via Twitter: #WEDOC2018

What is WEDOC all about?

We have all seen and experienced the headlines in Canada:

"Canada has worst ER/referral wait times in 11 developed countries ..."
"Patients needing admission to hospital stuck in ER longer, report says ..."
"Hospital ER times reveal some 'disturbing' waits ..."
"Canadian emergency rooms plagued by overcrowding..."
"1 in 5 emergency room visits unnecessary: study ..."
"...emergency room scales back on doctor hours- 'Increased fiscal restraint and scrutiny by government' to blame, internal memo says

WEDOC is a unique opportunity to learn and share with other emergency operations from across Western Canada! We will share stories, successes, and challenges commonly faced in our EDs! 

Join us in Victoria for 2018!

Situated on the majestic seashore of beautiful Victoria BC, this year’s conference was inspired by surfing imagery. The surfer represents our emergency teams walking fearlessly into the wild ocean of the ED, into overwhelming waves of patients with uncertainty and danger lurking just beneath the surface.  With various cross-provincial speaker panels, invited speakers, and innovative abstracts, we expect to tackle many shared issues and ideas to improve our EDs. Our popular learning buffets will be back — where participants meet with speakers in intimate small table discussions to learn, share, and expand on various concepts. We are also bringing back the awards for the BEST PERFORMING EDs awards!


  1. Discuss the fundamental issues at the system level to improve Emergency Department clinical workflow
  2. Identify the successes and lessons learned by people working to improve emergency care

Features/ Highlights

  • A conference based on concepts we CAN control!
  • Ample time to socialize and meet with colleagues from across Canada
  • Learn from others mistakes and successes - presentations all to be data-backed and useful!
  • Time to review poster abstracts and chat with the authors
  • Direct access to presenters in our learning buffets
  • Time to explore Victoria in a lovely time of year!
  • Excellent hotel rates at the impressive Fairmont Empress Hotel - on the water and central to all Victoria has to offer!
  • Access to maximize your study credits with two preconference workshops on Wed April 18th - see below!
  • Acknowledging our hard working EDs with the Annual Best Performing ED Awards collated from NACRS data presented by Dr. Eric Grafstein


SEMP: SIMULATION ASSISTED EMERGENCY PROCEDURES  ** A rare opportunity as this course is often only in Vancouver **

APR 18, 2018 (Wed)
Approx. 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM
Location: The Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning (CICSL), Royal Jubilee Hospital

Cost: $950 (limited to 24)

Target audience: physicians practicing emergency care; also open to interprofessional teams of physicians, nurses, paramedics, and respiratory therapistss

Course Format: Hands-on simulation course using highly-realistic task-trainers and human patient simulators combined with pre-course online modules.

Skills Gained:

The SEMP course allows physicians providing emergency care to acquire, review and practice their skill in essential life-saving emergency procedures including:

  • Needle cricothyrotomy and transtracheal jet ventilation
  • Open cricothyrotomy
  • Needle thoracostomy
  • Guide-wire chest tube placement
  • Intraosseous vascular access in adults
  • Intraosseous vascular access in children
  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Central line vascular access, landmark technique
  • Ultrasound-guided central line vascular access
  • Crisis resource management and strategies to reduce cognitive errors.


APR 18, 2018 (Wed)
Approx. 9:00 AM- 3:30 PM

Location: The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Cost: $199 (limited to 36)

Target audience: Anyone wanting to improve their communication skills

Program Overview:  Within the complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment, effective communication is becoming difficult to achieve. Changing demographics, diverse cultures, different languages, more engaged and informed patients, scarce resources, increased team-based care and other factors have combined to create some challenging communication issues.

Course Benefits:

  • Interactivity! Our small-group learning session is highly engaging and provides opportunities to interact with your facilitators and peers.
  • Tool belt! Learn how to implement a simple four-stage communication framework that is useful in difficult clinical situations including patient, peer and administration encounters.
  • Practice! Enhance your skills and gain confidence in using them through personal case study practice with peers.
  • Support! Share your insights, successes and challenges with peers and facilitators.


Thursday April 19


0715 Registration & Continental Breakfast         
SURVEYING THE WAVES: Getting a view of where we are at and what’s happening?
0745 Opening Remarks - Co-Chairs: Mr. Jon Schmid &  Dr. Jason Wale
0800 Code Orange Update: The Saskatchewan team will take some time to share their experiences with the Humboldt Broncos tragedy and answer questions
0820 Cross Provincial Panel—What are each province’s biggest issues/priorities this year and how are they responding to it?
         Facilitated by Dr. Bruce Campana
        - British Columbia: Ms. Michelle de Moor & Dr. Neil Barclay
        - Alberta: Dr. Brian Holroyd & Dr. Warren Ma
        - Saskatchewan: Dr. James Stempien & Mr. Graham Fast
        - Manitoba: Dr. Alecs Chochinov & Ms. Wendy Ducharme         
0945 The Rising Seniors Tide: Frail Elderly in the ER - Ms. Isobel Mackenzie (Seniors’ Advocate)
1045 Coffee Break & Poster Viewing         
1100 15-min SHORT SNAPPERS: Data-Backed Innovations in Practice: Making Flotsam from Jetsam     
         - ED 2 Home - Ms. Laura Cross, Ms. Sheila Appleton, & Dr. Theresa Van der Goes
         - Addressing the Provincial ED Youth Mental Health Crisis With the HEARTSMAP - Dr. Quynh Doan
         - Preventing ER Visits with Home Health Monitoring - Dr. Nick Rainier-Pope &, Ms. Lisa Saffarek
         Question Panel        
1200 Comparing the Effects of Throughput and Output Factors on ED Crowding - Dr. Malcolm Doupe
1230 Lunch (provided) & Poster Viewing         
WIPEOUT!  Dealing with Unexpected Demands         
1330 Managing a Natural Disaster & Evacuation— the Fort McMurray Experience - Dr. David Matear
1415 Our Opioid Crisis—the responses to it and what works? Dr. Andrew Kestler & Dr. Jason Wale
1445 Coffee Break & Poster Viewing         
1515 Operational Impacts of EHR’s on Patient Flow: The Top Ten Things  to Make them Work for You! - Dr. Drew Digney
1545 Learning Buffets - A chance to interact with our presenters from today in small groups. Choose 4 (15 min each rotation) - Facilitated Session
1645 Report back, feedback, closing comments         
1700 Conference Day Ends  & Evaluation        
1715 Wine & Cheese Reception with Abstract Posters   

Friday April 20

0800 Continental Breakfast & Exhibits        
0820 Opening Remarks          
0830 Leading Change In Cultural Safety & Humility: Transforming First Nations Health in British Columbia - Dr. Shannon McDonald- Deputy Chief Medical Officer, First Nations Health Authority
0915 BC EM Network: Sharing, supporting, and innovating to improve patient care, resiliency and research Dr. Julian Marsden
0945 The Patients Perspective
1030 Coffee Break & Poster Viewing         
1100 Surfing into the Wind: Strategies to Improve Flow under Challenging Conditions - Ms. Samantha Mitchell & Dr. John Sokal
15-min SHORT SNAPPERS: Best Flow – Faster Flow
1130 Accountable Care Units – Improving Patient Care & Flow - Mr. Graham Fast
1145 Compassionate Care of Mental Health - Ms. Carrie Boland & Dr. Kevin McMeel
1200 Question Panel    
1215 Lunch (provided) & Poster viewing         
1315 ER Lunacy– An Approach to Admissions - Dr. Neil Barclay & Dr. Drew Digney
1345 Quick Break        
1400 Top 5 Best Abstracts  - Oral Presentations  (in no particular order):

  • Making Emergency Room Crash Carts Useful - Mr. Carl Malishewski    
  • A Physician at Triage Pilot to Improve ED Throughput and Reduce Overcrowding - Dr. James D. Powell
  • Improving emergency department clinical workflow by engaging occupational therapy services - Ms. Caryn MacKay
  • Using a Modified Version of the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale-Alcohol Withdrawal in an Alcohol Withdrawal Protocol - Ms. Jane de Lemos
  • Implementation of an ECG Chest Pain Protocol to Reduce Door to ECG times - Eric Worrall, RN & Craig Senay, RCT       

1430 WEDOC Awards for Best Performing EDs (NACRS data) - Announced by: Dr. Eric Grafstein

1500 Prizes, Feedback, Final words         
1515 Conference Day Ends         

Key Speakers

Dr. Drew Digney

Dr. Digney will present twice at WEDOC: "Operational Impacts of EHR’s on Patient Flow: The Top Ten Things  to Make them Work for You!" and also he will be co-presenting with Drs. Neil Barclay and Jon Schmid on "ER Lunacy– An Approach to Admissions: Looking at metrics for ER bed admission safety and mortality effects ". Dr. Digney is also a member of this year's planning committee.

Dr. Drew Digney is the Executive Medical Director (EMD) for Island Health Geography 2, comprising the majority of services for the communities of Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Port Alberni, and the West Coast from Bamfield to Ahousat. He is also responsible for Island-wide planning for oversight of the renal services, oncology, emergency services and trauma programs.
Dr. Digney has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and began his career as a full service family practitioner in Prince George, BC, Canada.  In 1999 he decided to pursue his passion and received his specialty certification for Emergency Medicine.  Dr. Digney has practiced full-time emergency medicine for the last 17 years in Nanaimo and served as Emergency Site Chief for 10 of those years and was able to take the department to  a nationally recognized leader in throughput innovations
He has served on a number of hospital, provincial and volunteer boards and finds he has a penchant for making changes. Dr. Digney continues to challenge our ‘system’ to look at every aspect of the patient’s visit to ensure that it has a value to the patient and that our healthcare industry is able to provide the care our patients deserve.

Dr. Malcolm Doupe

Dr. Doupe will present on day one: "Comparing the Effects of Throughput and Output Factors on ED Crowding" -- "We used administrative healthcare use records to compare how throughput and output factors affect emergency department median waiting room time (mWRT) in Winnipeg Manitoba. This time was shortest for the highest acuity incoming patients and was not influenced by throughput or output factors. The mWRT of all other incoming patients was associated strongly with certain types of throughput (e.g., the number of existing patients getting x-rays) versus output (the number of existing patients waiting for hospital admission) factors." Malcolm Doupe is an Associate Professor in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. Dr. Doupe conducts research in the area of health services utilization, focusing on the factors affecting emergency department and also nursing home use



Dr. Grafstein will present at WEDOC 2018
Dr. Eric Grafstein

Dr. Eric Grafstein will present the WEDOC awards for "Time Waiting for Inpatient Bed", "Time to Physician Initial Assessment",  "ED Length of Stay" and "Most Improved.He spent his formative years in the ED as the Associate Research Director at St. Paul’s Hospital where he led the development of an Emergency Administrative Database for Health Services Research.Eric Grafstein completed Medical School at the University of Toronto in 1985 and completed his Royal College training in Emergency Medicine at McGill in 1991. Practicing at SPH since 1993 Dr. Grafstein is the Chief Medical Information Officer for Clinical Systems and Transformation at Vancouver Coastal Health, the Regional Head of Emergency Medicine at Vancouver Coastal Health - Providence Health Care and the Chair of the Vancouver Coastal Health Regional Emergency Services Program. He has spearheaded several IT projects both in Vancouver Coastal Health and at St. Paul’s Hospital including an electronic discharge summary application and a real time electronic ED dashboard.


Isobel Mackenzie
Seniors Advocate

We are pleased to have Ms. Mackenzie present to us on day one Thu April 19th on "Understanding the unique needs of seniors in the ED – B.C.’s Seniors Advocate’s perspective"Isobel has over 20 years’ experience working with seniors in home care, licensed care, community services and volunteer services. Isobel led B.C.’s largest not-for-profit agency, serving over 6000 seniors annually. In this work Isobel led the pioneering of a new model of dementia care that has become a national best practice. She led the first safety accreditation for homecare workers, among many other accomplishments. Isobel has been widely recognized for her work and was named BC CEO of the Year for the Not-for-Profit Sector and nominated as a Provincial Health Care Hero.Prior to her appointment as the Seniors Advocate, Isobel served on a number of national and provincial boards and commissions including the BC Medical Services Commission, the Canadian Homecare Association, BC Care Providers, BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, and the Capital Regional District Housing Corporation. Isobel received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Victoria and has a Certificate in Health Care Leadership from the University of Toronto. Isobel lives in Victoria.



Dr. David Matear

David Matear is Executive Director for Hospital and Communities, Interior Health West. Formerly, as Senior Operating Director for Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Alberta Health Services, he served as Incident Commander of the emergency and recovery phases during the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2016- which he will discuss at WEDOC with us this year. His work there included oversight of the evacuation of healthcare services, including a hospital, in a short period of time; the multiple phase evacuation to appropriate facilities via road and air; establishing temporary Field Hospitals and a Medical Clinic; establishing a mobile surgery-capable Urgent Care Centre; overseeing short- and medium-term integrated health care services providing care to first responders in evacuated areas; and the reestablishment of health care services for a returning community, including acute and community services. Within 48 hours of joining Interior Health he was called upon to help manage the B.C. wildfires crisis in 2017, which resulted in the evacuation and, in some cases, closure of 14 facilities within Interior Health, including impacts to hospitals and health centres across Interior Health West. David holds a PhD in Healthcare Administration from Capella University in Minneapolis, a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of London (UK), and a Bachelors of Dental Surgery and a Bachelors of Medical Sciences from the University of Dundee. In addition, he is certified in Healthcare Quality Management and Change Management, and is a Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).


2018 Co-Chair:
Jon Schmid

Jon has 20 years of experience in healthcare including military, emergency, critical care, northern outpost and flight nursing. He has managed two emergency departments, a provincial air ambulance service and directed a medical imaging portfolio in Saskatchewan. Currently, he is the Director of Patient Flow and Care Transitions for Island Health. His academic credentials include a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Saskatchewan and a master degree in healthcare quality from Queen’s University; and he is a certified quality improvement and Lean consultant.  Jon lives in Victoria with his wife and two daughters.






2018 Co-Chair:
Dr. Jason Wale


Dr. Jason Wale is from  Victoria. A graduate  from UBC medicine in 1996 and Victoria Family Practice in 1998, he has worked in small medium and large Emergency Departments for the last 20 years. After several years of rural medicine he completed an  ER residency at University of Ottawa followed by 12 years of practice in  Comox on Vancouver Island in  Victoria for the last 3 years. Quality improvement work has been a part of Dr. Wale’s career from the beginning, culminating in the position of Medical Director of Emergency Services for Island Health since December of 2016. This has enabled him to enjoy  combining continuing clinical emergency medicine work with Quality improvement initiatives . He live in Victoria with his wife and two children.


Early bird registration: Mon. Mar 19, 2018 | Add to calendar +

Fees includes course materials, breakfasts, a reception,  refreshments, and lunches.

These are online rates only—faxed, called and mailed registrations—add $10 to all fees .    

EARLY BIRD  by March 19th / after March 19th (late)

  • Physicians: $475 early bird /$525 (late)

  • Hospital Administrators/Allied Health/Government $375 early bird /$399 (late)

  • Residents/Students* $100 early bird /$150 (late)

  • Patient Reps $100 early bird /$150 (late)

* Residents must provide proof of resident status.

Cancellations and Refunds


The Fairmont Empress
721 Government St
Victoria  British Columbia  V8W 1W5


This luxury hotel has just completed a massive renovation, featuring beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites.

Discounted group rates start at $199 per night + tax for a standard Fairmont room. Reservations must be made by March 19, 2018 to qualify for this rate (based on availability). 

Be sure to book your room as soon as possible, as our rooms will fill up quickly!


T: 1-866-540-4429


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