Improving the communication between care providers of individuals who may require joint replacement surgery (JRS) a framework for referral
Osborne, Richard, Morgan, Melissa, Haynes, Kerry, Lew, Stephen, Rawlin, Morton and Brand, Caroline 2006, Improving the communication between care providers of individuals who may require joint replacement surgery (JRS) a framework for referral, in GP & PHC 2006 : Optimising Impact : 2006 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference Abstracts, Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, [Perth, W.A.].
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GP & PHC 2006 : Optimising Impact : 2006 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference Abstracts
Primary Health Care Research and Information Service
Place of publication
Aims & rationale/Objectives : The objective of the project was to specify the information required in referrals to public hospital orthopaedic outpatient departments in order to streamline the care and prioritisation of individuals who may require JRS. It was envisaged that an evidence-based GP-Orthopaedic derived referral system would assist in ensuring that the right person accessed the right care at the right time. Methods : In collaboration with the RACGP and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, a national stakeholder working group was convened. A scoping document was prepared with input from key stakeholders. A review of primary research was undertaken as well as a review of relevant guidelines. Information on the implementation and evaluation of similar programs in Australia and overseas also informed the referral specification. Principal findings : The initial scoping processes with key stakeholders provided clear information on core components of the referral. These were the use of standardised and respected assessment tools to determine the severity of arthritis, fitness for surgery and willingness of affected individuals to undergo surgery. Discussion : About 20,000 JRS occur each year in public hospitals which emanate from 5 to 10 fold number of referrals. Arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases are a national health priority area reflecting the high burden of disease associated with these conditions. Various initiatives are being undertaken to address the quality of life of affected individuals. This project has revealed areas of potential improvement in the communication between care providers of individuals who may need JRS. Implications : The project will result in the development of a standard referral form and guidelines to assist referring practitioners to communicate more effectively with the multidisciplinary care team, in particular orthopaedic care providers. The guidelines will be piloted in a large rural setting.
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