Until recently, about 150 Swift Current-area clients with cardiac device implants were travelling to Regina every year for check-ups at the Group Medical Services (GMS) Cardiac Rhythm Device Clinic at Regina General Hospital.
Their lives changed for the better in January 2019 when Swift Current’s Cardiac Lab began offering this service.
“I received a pacemaker in 2013 at the Regina General Hospital, which required that I return to their pacemaker clinic on an annual basis. As we live in Leader, that makes the trip about a five-hour drive each way plus the time at the hospital, making it a long day unless we stayed overnight at a hotel,” said Ray Hawkins, whose commute has been cut by two hours each way because the service is being offered in a location closer to his home community.
Now, Hawkins and other clients with cardiac devices, such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, undergo tests at the Swift Current lab. The information is then sent to the GMS Cardiac Rhythm Device Clinic where it is interpreted by trained staff and physicians.
Wanda Burnett and Jill Speir-Potter, Swift Current cardiology technologists, worked with Steven Klotz, manager of Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA’s) Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Support Services in Regina, to equip the Swift Current lab.
“I am very proud of our Cardiology Technologists and their eagerness to take on new and innovative processes, so that we can provide patient first, quality care to those living in Southwest Saskatchewan,” said Donna Wotherspoon, Manager of Medical Imaging and Cardiac Lab services for the SHA in Swift Current.
This is the second rollout of its kind for this cardiac satellite clinic; the first was in Yorkton in March 2018.
From left: Cardiology Technicians Wanda Burnett and Jill Speir-Potter, (front) Ray Hawkins.