A new program helps maximize health outcomes for patients with musculoskeletal disease and disability across the region. The North West LHIN Regional Orthopaedic Program, launched in April 2016, shifts musculoskeletal care into a truly integrated system of quality care, closer to home.
While the Regional Orthopaedic Program is still new, Caroline Fanti, Regional Orthopaedic Program Director, is confident in its potential to grow and improve. “This program has already transformed the way we approach musculoskeletal care in Northwestern Ontario. We’re also taking on a more holistic approach to care, so non-surgical patients will benefit as well. By working together, we can make a positive impact at a systems level and provide exceptional patient care that is sustainable.”
“Residents of Northwestern Ontario face a higher than average prevalence of musculoskeletal disease and require higher than average use of orthopaedic surgical services in the region,” said Fanti. “Under our new program, care is designed and delivered to address the health care needs and preferences of our patients and families across the region in order to be both appropriate and cost effective while maximizing health outcomes and the overall patient experience.”
The Health Sciences Centre worked in partnership with the NW LHIN, as well as Dryden Regional Health Care, Riverside Health Care in Fort Frances, and Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora. One of the main goals of the program is improved access and a standardized level of care for patients throughout the region.
“The program will provide appropriate, timely and equitable access to orthopaedic specialist care for patients and primary care providers through a user-friendly, centralized referral intake process and a regionally coordinated assessment mechanism,” said Dr. David Puskas, Regional Medical Director of Musculoskeletal Health. “Care providers can now deliver a seamless experience of care so that our patients receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time.”
“Process evaluation is also being undertaken in order to optimize wait times for emergent and non-emergent surgical cases for local and regional patients,” said Adam Vinet, Director of Surgery.
Quality and safety will be improved under the new program through the consistent implementation of evidence based best practices across the continuum of care. “Patients benefit from regional integration because it decreases variances in care through standardization, improved coordination, and transitions throughout the system,” explained Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, EVP, Patient Services, & Chief Nursing Executive.