Man bending leg after Knee Hip Surgery
Written by Dr. Ralph Belle, Regional Medical Director and Regional Department Head, Surgery

Fraser Health will be expanding a surgery program that has its roots at Burnaby Hospital, providing better access to joint replacement surgery.

On Sunday, we announced that Fraser Health will be expanding a surgery program that has its roots at Burnaby Hospital, providing better access to joint replacement surgery. The Fraser Health hip and knee replacement program builds on Burnaby Hospital’s Central Intake and Optimization Clinic for Arthroplasty, which enables booking with the first available surgeon, rather than relying on a traditional referral relationship between a family physician and an orthopedic surgeon.

This new approach helps makes sure a person has timely access to surgery. The clinic also supports patients with a nurse throughout each step of the process, to make them aware of options that are available in the community to help them recover more quickly when they return home. The program is part of a new provincial surgical and diagnostic strategy that will increase the number of hip and knee replacement surgeries in our region by 23 per cent, as well as a 14 per cent increase in magnetic resonance (MRI) exams region-wide. The number of hip and knee replacement surgeries within Fraser Health is expected to increase by approximately 836 in 2018-19.

As a part of the B.C. Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Strategy, Fraser Health is projecting a total of 63,000 MRI exams 2018-19. Approximately $11 million in funding is being made available to increase MRI capacity province-wide in the public health system, and achieve a total of 225,000 MRI exams in 2018-19.

Our hip and knee replacement program is one of five programs the provincial government is implementing throughout the province, as one component of its new four-part surgical strategy. Our patients have told us that the new arthroplasty centre at Burnaby Hospital has helped them to not only better prepare for their hip or knee surgeries, but also to feel more informed about their options for rehabilitation following their procedures, which is why we look forward to expanding this model to other hospitals in our region.

Fraser Health’s hip and knee replacement program will also make improvements designed to support increased surgical volumes, reduce wait times and improve continuity of care for patients by coordinating all the services a patient requires to prepare for, undergo and recover from surgery. This includes: dedicated operating room time, pre- and post-surgical support, centralized intake, standardized assessment, access to the first-available surgeon, and ongoing program evaluation.

Read the full news release here.


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