A research project to design and evaluate the optimal centralized intake system for arthritis sufferers in Alberta is in the second of three phases. The researchers are designing the intake system initially to refer and triage Albertans with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They aim to increase rates of early diagnosis by reducing the waiting time for consultation, and to improve disease control by getting patients into treatment more quickly.
The first phase involved setting the objectives for better access to care and patient outcomes and developing a framework for measuring the new system’s performance. In the second phase, researchers are examining different centralized intake systems to identify the features that best support the objectives set for access and outcomes in Alberta. This phase will be completed in December 2015. The final phase will occur in 2016 when the newly designed system will be implemented and evaluated.
ABJHI is managing the data for the research, which is funded by a grant from the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System. The research is being led by Dr. Deborah Marshall, ABJHI’s Director of Health Technology Assessment and the Canada Research Chair of Health Services and Systems Research, and by Dr. Linda Woodhouse, Scientific Director of the Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network.