Improving access for foot and ankle patients on an orthopaedic waiting list

Mrs Charlotte Cooke1, Ms Julia Firth1

1Western Health, Footscray, VIC, Australia

 

Aim
This study aimed to determine the efficacy of integrating an Advanced Practice Orthopaedic Podiatry (APOP) clinic to the Orthopaedic Outpatient’s service. Pilot funding was received from DHHS.
Method
The APOP screened referrals received by the Orthopaedic Outpatient department to determine whether they required advanced practice podiatric management or surgical opinion. A clinical governance tool was developed alongside a competency package. Data collection completed October 2015– January 2016. Patients > 18 years of age were eligible. Patient centred outcomes were analysed, patient satisfaction survey, waiting list and referral analysis.
Results
Patient referrals to Orthopaedic clinic between 2013 -2015 were assessed. N = 103, 70% were managed effectively and did not require an orthopaedic opinion for their presenting musculoskeletal pathology. Most commonly assessed condition was Hallux Valgus (51%) followed by 33% with a hind foot pathology. 66% of patients were discharged completely to community providers. Overall satisfaction with APOP visit – 94% strongly agree 6% agree.
Significance of the findings to Allied Health Practice
The aim of this inter-professional model of patient care is to provide seamless movement of patients from one service to another. Shifting resources into prevention and self-management; providing patients with real choices about their treatment options, empowering them to make informed decisions about their health care. Whilst providing them with support, education and tools to improve their understanding of their journey through the health care system.