The North West Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN) Regional Orthopaedic Program (ROP) at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has developed a Musculoskeletal (MSK) Centre of Excellence. Rather than require patients to travel, the ROP brings services to patients. The program has:

•    Improved access to care for MSK patients and streamlined referral process;
•    Provided closer-to-home care for more patients in the region;
•    Reduced costs to the system;
•    Reduced wait times; and
•    Improved health outcomes.

The ROP’s innovative approach to musculoskeletal care promotes better service to patients living in urban, rural and remote settings. The collaborative team at the ROP has successfully integrated various providers into a regional/centralized booking system which has traditionally been operated independently throughout the province. Although most orthopaedic surgeons are connected to one or more hospitals, they aren’t necessarily connected to one another.

The ROP provides on-site consultation and surgery at four facilities in the North West LHIN: Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Dryden Regional Health Centre, Lake of the Woods District Hospital and Riverside Health Care. All four facilities provide and/or facilitate Orthopaedic care including knee, hip, shoulder and foot & ankle surgery, recovery, and rehabilitation.

The Regional Orthopaedics Program has realized several impacts to indicators of quality such as:
•    Reduced wait times for all MSK appointments including hip and knee surgeries;
•    Reduced costs to the system; and
•    Improved resource use across the region, both in terms of financial and human resources.

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