Toward a joint health and disease management program. Toronto hospitals partner to provide system leadership.
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The Joint Health and Disease Management Program in the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TC LHIN) is envisioned as a comprehensive model of care for patients with hip and knee arthritis. It includes access to assessment services, education, self-management programs and other treatment programs, including specialist care as needed. As the first phase of this program, the hospitals in TC LHIN implemented a Hip and Knee Replacement Program to focus on improving access and quality of care, coordinating services and measuring wait times for patients waiting for hip or knee replacement surgery. The program involves healthcare providers, consumers and constituent hospitals within TC LHIN. The approach used for this program involved a definition of governance structure, broad stakeholder engagement to design program elements and plans for implementation and communication to ensure sustainability. The program and approach were designed to provide a model that is transferrable in its elements or its entirety to other patient populations and programs. Success has been achieved in creating a single wait list, developing technology to support referral management and wait time reporting, contributing to significant reductions in waits for timely assessment and treatment, building human resource capacity and improving patient and referring physician satisfaction with coordination of care.
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