New Health Clinic With Shorter Wait Times Open in Mississauga
While most Canadians are happy with the country's healthcare system overall, many people have complained about long wait times for non-emergency treatment and procedures.
Now, it looks like a new clinic will provide faster service for some patients.
Trillium Health Partners recently announced that a new rapid access clinic will offer shorter wait times and faster care for hip and knee arthritis patients Mississauga.
"Patients living with hip and knee arthritis experience shorter wait times for consultation and treatment thanks to a partnership between the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Halton Healthcare and Trillium Health Partners (THP)," THP said in a news release.
THP says that through this partnership, the hip and knee central intake and rapid access clinic model was launched in November 2018.
"This model is being rolled out across Ontario to help patients access the right care faster and make the health care system easier to navigate. Since opening, the THP Hip and Knee Rapid Access Clinic has helped more than 150 patients with moderate to severe hip or knee arthritis access the right education and treatment options faster," THP says.
So, how does it work?
THP says that after being referred to the rapid access clinic by their primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner) through a centralized intake program, patients will be assessed by a specially-trained therapist called an Advance Practice Provider within four weeks.
During their assessment, patients will be provided with an individualized care plan that helps to avoid unnecessary appointments and procedures, including digital imaging.
THP says the the care plan can include education and recommendations for non-surgical treatment (such as changes to physical activity and rehabilitation services, so patients can confidently manage their care) and/or a referral to a surgeon based on the patient's choice of preferred surgeon, hospital, or next available appointment.
THP says that faster access to knee and hip arthritis treatment is becoming more important as the senior population in the community continues to grow.
Last year, THP performed 489 hip replacements and 1,175 knee replacements. In February 2019, this model expanded with the introduction of new hospital and community-based rapid access clinics to support patients with low back pain.
THP also points out that hip and knee issues are prevalent, with one in three adults living with musculoskeletal conditions that affect their muscles, bones or joints, and cause pain and mobility issues.
THP says that implementing the hip and knee rapid access clinics across Ontario has shown a 27 per cent reduction in wait times and a 95 per cent patient satisfaction rate.
"Speaking with my doctor about different treatment options led me to the rapid access clinic and helped me get care faster. I had a positive experience and was fortunate to have surgery so quickly, which means I can heal in time to walk my daughter down the aisle this May," said Steven Gray, a patient at the Trillium Health Partners Hip and Knee Rapid Access Clinic, in a news release.
THP says the clinic offers various treatment strategies.
"Patients living with arthritis can be treated using a number of different strategies that include education, lifestyle changes, self-management tools, or surgery. The streamlined referral and assessment process offered by the Central Intake and Rapid Access Clinic can help people living with hip and knee arthritis receive care that best meets their needs in a timelier manner," said Dr. Nigel David Clements, orthopaedic surgeon and physician lead for the Hip and Knee Rapid Access Clinic at Trillium Health Partners, in a statement.
All patient referrals to the rapid access clinic will be required to come through the central intake.
There are two Rapid Access Clinic locations in the Mississauga Halton LHIN - one located at Halton Healthcare (Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital) and one at Trillium Health Partners (Queensway Health Centre).
As for how the referral process works, THP provided an interesting infographic.
Anyone interested in this clinic is encouraged to talk to their family doctor.
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