What Is The Rapid Access Centre (RAC)?
Previously known as the North Eastern Joint Assessment Centre (NEJAC), the RAC is part of the Surgical Program at SAH. NEJAC is a LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) sponsored initiative, in cooperation with the Ontario Wait Times Strategy.
The main goal of the program is to decrease wait times for patients awaiting hip and knee replacement surgery.
Under the new system, patients needing an orthopedic consult for hip or knee replacement will be directed to RAC by their family physician, rather than directly to the orthopedic surgeons as is currently the practice. During the Assessment Centre visit, patients will receive a comprehensive assessment by an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist (APP). The APP, who has received specialized training in the assessment of joint replacement candidates, will act as a liaison between the surgeon and the family physician.
This process will ensure that patients get on the right treatment path faster. Approximately 30-50% of patients are not quite ready for hip/knee replacement surgery and the APP will help manage these patients through more conservative management options such as physiotherapy. The remaining patients will be referred to orthopedic surgeons for either medical management or joint replacement surgery. Surgical patients will be seen by the surgeons in a more timely fashion, to discuss the next steps.
What Do We Do?
You will be assessed by an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) who has extensive orthopedic skills and training. A comprehensive assessment will be conducted to determine the most appropriate treatment, which will be based on the severity of your condition. If surgery is the next step, an appointment with the next available or preferred orthopedic surgeon is arranged, thereby reducing wait times. If surgery is not needed, non-surgical treatment options are discussed (education, exercise prescription, injection therapy, assistive devices), and more support and resources are provided to appropriately self-manage your condition.
What Is ISAEC?
ISAEC is a LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) sponsored initiative to improve care access for patients suffering from chronic or persistent lower back pain. Patients can be referred to the LB RAC by their family physician or NP who will then be contacted within 2-4 weeks by an Advanced Practice Provider for further assessment.
Referral Criteria for patients is:
- They present with persistent low back pain and/or related symptoms (e.g., sciatica, neurogenic claudication) that are not improving 6 weeks to 12 months from onset.
- They present with unmanageable recurrent/episodic low back pain and/or related symptoms of less than 12 months duration post-recurrence.
What Do We Do?
You will be assessed by an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) who has extensive orthopedic skills and training. A comprehensive assessment will be conducted to determine the most appropriate treatment, personalized based on the severity of your condition and individual needs, to manage your lower back pain. If surgery is required you will be provided with access to specialists and diagnostic imaging, as required, and referred for an appointment with the next available surgeon (or with your preferred surgeon).
- Rhonda Matthews, Advanced Practice Physiotherapist, ACPAC
Staff can be reached at (705) 759-3434 ext. 6541.
Click here for more information about the North East MSK Central Intake and Rapid Access Clinics (RAC)