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Virtual Fracture Clinic reducing wait times

3 May 2017

The introduction of a Virtual Fracture Clinic at Logan Hospital is seeing real time savings for patients and the orthopaedic outpatient department for minor bone injuries of the hand, wrist, foot and ankles.

Logan Hospital’s Emergency Department treats an average of 250 minor fractures every month, placing an enormous demand on the daily fracture clinic which is also responsible for the follow up of major bone fractures and trauma.

Logan Hospital Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon Dr Nick Shortt developed the virtual model to reduce the amount of time patients need to spend coming to clinic, reduce the administration around clinic bookings, and provide a more effective treatment option for patients with direct referrals to allied health rehabilitation for their particular injury.

“We have identified nine of the most common minor fractures which heal well over a three to six week period and don’t require intervention until healed.”

“This means that we can provide the treatment in our Emergency Department as usual and highlight how our new virtual clinic will assess their X-rays without the need to come into clinic,” Dr Shortt said.

Each patient is referred from the virtual clinic to either physiotherapy, hand therapy, their general practitioner or to our Fracture Clinic for further examination which follows the safe and effective virtual models used overseas.

“Our own X-ray data shows that 80 per cent of ankle injuries show no fracture, 10 per cent have no bony injury, 25 per cent of hand and wrist injuries find no bony injury, and over 10 per cent of patients referred to clinic with minor injuries don’t even attend their appointment,” he said.

Dr Shortt said an added benefit for families is that nearly 25 per cent of children’s wrist injuries can be effectively treated in splint without the need for a cast which is great news for parents with less time away from work to attend the hospital.

The streamlined approach of the Virtual Fracture Clinic for Logan Hospital patients has been an amazing effort across various disciplines in Orthopaedics, Emergency, Allied Health and outpatients to increase clinic availability for other patients, staff time management, and the effectiveness of allied health rehabilitation outcomes.

Last updated 6 October 2021
Last reviewed 6 October 2021

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