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Authors

  1. Poder, Thomas G.
  2. Bellemare, Christian
  3. Bedard, Suzanne K.
  4. He, Jie
  5. Lemieux, Renald

Abstract

BACKGROUND: New designs of care in orthopaedic clinics are needed to cope with the shortage of orthopaedic surgeons and the lengthening of waiting times.

 

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary orthopaedic clinic with a pivot nurse in the Canadian province of Quebec with regard to accessibility, quality of care, efficacy and efficiency of the clinic, and patient's quality of life.

 

METHODS: Two strategies were developed: (1) a selected cohort of new patients attending an orthopaedic service from February to September 2008 were entered into a database recording patient details, source of referral, diagnosis, satisfaction, and quality of life (36-Item Short Form Health Survey version 2). In this setting, 2 sets of questionnaires were administered to the patients: the first one during the first visit and the second one, 2 months later. A total of 243 patients from the case control were compared with 89 patients of the case study, where an interdisciplinary orthopaedic clinic with a pivot nurse has been developed; (2) costs per patient were calculated using the staff timesheets provided by the two orthopaedic clinics.

 

RESULTS: The results showed a significant reduction in the waiting-list duration (accessibility) in the case study clinic owing to a strong decrease in the inappropriate consultations with the orthopaedic consultant. The quality of care remained high, and the target surgeries for total hip and knee replacement were reached, despite a strong shortage of orthopaedic doctors.

 

CONCLUSION: Interdisciplinary orthopaedic clinic with a pivot nurse is a new approach in the province of Quebec and first results are encouraging.