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Windsor Regional Hospital Opens Two Rapid Assessment Centres To Reduce Wait Times

Thursday May 9th, 2019, 10:10am


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Windsor Regional Hospital has opened two Rapid Assessment Centres to reduce wait times for patients with hip, knee and low back pain.

At the centres, patients are assessed by specially-trained Advanced Practice Physiotherapists who determine the most appropriate individual treatment plan. Patients who may require surgery are referred to the surgeon of their choice or the first available surgeon. Patients who don’t require surgery receive education, resources, a self-management plan and follow-up visits to monitor their progress.

Previously, patients waited in pain for months or even years for a consultation with a surgeon, sometimes only to find out they did not need or qualify for surgery. Now, all referrals go to one location – the RAC – where patients receive an appointment with the Advance Practice Physiotherapist within weeks.

“It is a quicker way to get patients into the system and get them started down the right care path,” says Rosemary Petrakos, Vice President of Peri-Operative, Surgery, Women’s and Children’s. “It will take pressure off the system by removing patients who don’t need surgery from already long waiting lists and get the appropriate treatment early on when it can have the greatest impact.”

The Hip and Knee RAC is located on the first floor of the Metropolitan Campus. The program is for patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions, who may be considering hip or knee replacement surgery.

The Low Back RAC is located on the first floor of the Ouellette Campus. This program is for people who have had low back pain and/or related leg symptoms (e.g. leg pain, numbness and/or tingling) for at least six weeks, but not longer than a year. Patients learn to manage chronic low back pain while reducing unnecessary tests, opioid prescriptions, specialist appointments and emergency visits.

All RAC patients must be referred to the clinic by a doctor or nurse practitioner. Visits are fully covered by OHIP.

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