Rapid Access Spine Triage Program

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The Rapid Access Spine Triage Program identifies and triages patients who need to see a surgeon, and provides referring physicians and patients with evidence-based directions for care when a surgical consultation is not appropriate.

What to expect

Consistent with national standards and practices, senior advanced practice physiotherapists (APPs) with spine-specific advanced training work collaboratively with medical practitioners and spine surgeons and serve as the patient’s first clinical point of contact.

Patients receive a comprehensive clinical assessment by an APP to determine whether a consultation with a spine surgeon is required. The initial visit is not an appointment for physiotherapy treatment, but rather a detailed interview, physical examination, review of available diagnostic imaging and an identification of any issues that may require further discussion with a surgeon.


    • Rapid Access Spine Triage Program fact sheet

    • Blusson Spinal Cord Centre referral form

Patient benefits

Successfully piloted in 2017, the program decreases patient wait time for assessment and treatment of non-emergent spinal complaints.

Referring physicians receive a timely, detailed report outlining the clinical impression and recommended treatments.

Patients requiring a surgical consultation are booked on an expedited basis with the appropriate, next available spine surgeon.

Find this service near you

  • Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)

    899 West 12th Avenue Vancouver