In the lastest issue of Neuromatters (Winter 2012, Issue 20 – downlable PDF available here), the newsletter put out by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, there is a spotlight on the Kitchener Mobility Clinic. The Mobility Clinic is an inter-professional clinic that involves a physician, nursing, chiropractic, Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Pharmacy.
For those living with a spinal cord injury (SCI), inadequate access and support to primary care is a major problem.
There are a number of barriers to accessing primary care, including inaccessible physician offices, lack of understanding and experience by staff and physicians on the needs of those living with SCI, problematic settings (i.e., heightened examination tables, inadequate space in hallways/waiting rooms), and flexibility with scheduling appointments around transportation availability make accessing care a challenge.
The Kitchener Mobility Clinic is an inter-professional clinic that involves a physician, nursing, chiropractic, Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Pharmacy. The clinic serves to provide additional care to rostered patients of the Centre of Family Medicine in Kitechener Ontario (Canada) who have any sort of mobility issue. Some features services provided include having a more accessible examination room equipped with an electronic lowering exam table, overhead ceiling lift or just more time for a detailed assessment. The Mobility Clinic staff has also seen patients in their own homes/living environment for assessment.
Given that many people with SCI are using hospital emergency rooms for primary care, there is a need for more primary care delivery models, like the Kitchener Mobility Clinic, that can better meet the health needs of people with SCI.
Below are some recent articles that highlight some of the challenges to primary care for people with SCI:
- Guilcher SJ, Craven BC, Calzavara A, McColl MA, Jaglal SB. Is the emergency department an appropriate substitute for primary care for persons with traumatic spinal cord injury? Spinal Cord. 2012 Nov 13. doi: 10.1038/sc.2012.123. [Epub ahead of print]
- Guilcher SJ, Craven BC, Lemieux-Charles L, Casciaro T, McColl MA, Jaglal SB. Secondary health conditions and spinal cord injury: an uphill battle in the journey of care. Disabil Rehabil. 2012 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print]
- Guilcher SJ, Munce SE, Couris CM, Fung K, Craven BC, Verrier M, Jaglal SB. Health care utilization in non-traumatic and traumatic spinal cord injury: a population-based study. Spinal Cord. 2010 Jan;48(1):45-50. doi: 10.1038/sc.2009.78. Epub 2009 Jun 23.