New Approach Improves Wait Times for Hip and Knee Surgeries

CHATHAM-KENT: March 28, 2019 – Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) along with other hospitals in the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (ESC LHIN), is working to improve wait times for patients waiting for hip and knee replacement surgery. 
Beginning April 1, 2019, patients who may require hip or knee replacement surgery will be referred to one of the newly developed Musculoskeletal Rapid Assessment Clinics (MSK RAC) by their Primary Care Provider. Hip and knee assessments will take place at MSK RACs located in Windsor, Chatham, and Sarnia. Patients are booked for an assessment at the location closest to their home, or may choose the first available assessment at any of the locations. MSK RACs help people with moderate to severe osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions, who may be considering hip or knee replacement surgery. Patients must be referred by a doctor or nurse practitioner. If needed, a consultation appointment will be made with an orthopedic surgeon after visiting the MSK RAC. Patients who are assessed to need surgery for total joint replacement of the hip or knee will still receive their choice of surgeon and hospital but with the added option of now selecting the first available surgeon at any location in the ESC LHIN for a shorter wait time to procedure day.
“We see a large volume of hip and knee replacement surgeries at CKHA every year. Giving patients more options to choose the first available surgeon from any clinic within the LHIN can improve wait times for these procedures,” said Lisa Northcott, Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive, CKHA. “We are hopeful this strategy will assist us in reducing the time patients wait to receive total joint replacements.”
At CKHA, MSK Assessors within the Physiotherapy Department will work very closely with Chatham-Kent orthopedic surgeons to perform assessments for patients to determine if surgery is needed. The MSK Assessors discuss treatment options and formulate a care plan for each patient. This may include surgery and it could also include other non-surgical treatment options. In the 2017/18 year, CKHA performed 234 hip and 485 knee replacement procedures. 
“This new process for our Rapid Assessment Clinic will help patients receive timely access to hip and knee assessments and the appropriate treatment options,” said Jill Chalmers, Patient Advisor, CKHA. “Partnering with patients and their families in the planning and decision making for their care is the foundation of CKHA’s philosophy of Patient and Family Centred Care.”
For more information on CKHA’s MSK RAC, click here.
To arrange an interview please contact:
Emily Field, Communications Specialist
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance 
519.352.6401 x 5326
efield [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca 

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