Central Health’s Orthopedic Intake and Assessment Clinic officially opened November 18th 2013 with the goals of: improving client co-ordination and quality of care, improving access to hip and knee replacement surgery (i.e: only those deemed surgical see the surgeon, discharge planning to reduce LOS, etc), to address current backlog of clients waiting for hip and knee replacement surgery, to improve collection and use of wait time data, and to reduce the number of clients requiring hip and knee replacement surgery long-term. The clinic is located in close proximity to Central Health’s orthopedic surgeon’s clinic space and operates with a multidisciplinary team approach to client care consisting of a half-time clinical lead/half-time occupational therapist, full-time physiotherapist, half-time nurse, half-time social worker, and half-time clerical support. This team provides initial referral triage, assessment and caseload management of clients referred with hip or knee pain as well as pre-surgical education and preparation to those requiring total hip or total knee replacements. By engaging the client early after initial referral is sent from the primary care provider, the OIAC team can assess whether or not the client is appropriate for surgical consultation before they are placed on the waitlist. This assessment identifies if conservative management has been initiated, trialed, or complete, if not, same is initiated prior to surgical consultation. If a client is not appropriate for surgical consultation, recommendations for conservative management/a care plan is sent back to the referral source and the client may be followed by the OIAC for re-assessment when needed. If a client is appropriate for surgical consultation, they are given the option of choosing the next available surgeon from Central Health’s 5 current orthopedic surgeons or requesting one of those specific surgeons, and they may also receive other recommendations for services to optimize them before and after surgery. Once the client has received an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, if they are given an OR booking slip for a total hip or knee replacement, they are placed on a surgical waitlist and then followed by the OIAC again for pre-operative education and pre-admission process which maintains a connection across the continuum of care for each client. The OIAC team has developed new in depth patient education guides and comprehensive pre-operative education classes to ensure clients are better prepared for their surgery. Electronic documentation is being used and further developed to ensure consistency throughout the clinic and improve communication and client care.
For further information about the program please contact Sherry Freake at Sherry.Freake@centralhealth.nl.ca