Cathy Alex · CBC News – Oct 14, 2018
Patients are referred by their family doctor to the clinic, which then acts as a one-stop shop for consultations with orthopedic specialists and ultimately surgery if required.
Once enrolled in the program, the patient is assessed and then agrees to be cared for by the next available doctor from a pool of orthopedic surgeons, who also take turns working in Dryden, Fort Frances and Kenora.
Putting aside the natural competitive instinct between surgeons was key to developing the program, said Puskas. The program also brings together physiotherapists and doctors in a much more collaborative environment.
“We don’t always trust each other’s diagnoses, so we had to go through a period of time where we really got on the same page and used evidence from the literature to guide how we would deal with each different thing”, he said.
That new respect is also translating into better service for patients, said Puskas, explaining he was able to see 30 patients in the fracture clinic, while his advanced practice therapist colleague cared for another 14, with the understanding he was always available if his expertise was required.
“So basically she was able to put 50 per cent more patients through and have them have the confidence that they had the attention of the surgeon if they’re needed.
“Quicker access to specialists and a shorter wait for surgery is having a dramatic effect on people’s quality of life, said Fanti, the program director.
To read more, click on: Thunder Bay’s Rapid Access Clinic for hip, knee conditions cuts wait times from years to weeks
Thunder Bay Rapid Access Clinic