New program reduces wait for hip and knee surgery
A new program called Hip and Knee ASAP, developed by the Regional Surgery Program at VCH is aimed at reducing wait times for those who need hip and knee surgery by directing those who don't, or aren't ready, to care alternatives.
Not every person who has been identified as potentially requiring hip or knee surgery is ready, or actually in need of the surgery. By creating a new workflow, that uses the skills and experience of Advanced Practice Physiotherapists (APP), the program expedites a surgical triage assessment and moves people at the highest levels of need and readiness into the queue for a surgical consult. This model for hip and knee osteoarthritis is new in B.C. but is well-established in Ontario and the United Kingdom.
Surgeons provided a 12-week mentorship to the physiotherapists around surgery-readiness, including time in the operating room to better understand the surgical procedures.
Now, instead of having to wait three to eight months to see a surgeon, patients in the program can see an APP within a month.
The APPs also give options and information to those who are either uninterested in surgery or are not in significant pain.
Patients who are candidates for surgery receive useful information before their surgical consult, which helps them to decide more quickly if it is the right choice for them. As a result, surgeons are seeing more people that feel educated at the consultation, and feel informed enough to sign the surgical consent. We are already seeing improvements to the quality of life for participants.