The NEJAC (North Eastern Joint Assessment Centre) 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 NEJAC 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.
The NEJAC process will ensure that patients get on the right treatment path faster. Approximately 30-50% of patients are not quite ready for the 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 the 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.
More information is available on the NE LHIN website at http://www.nelhin.on.ca/hipandknee.aspx