PRHC’s specialty Pain Clinic expands to serve additional patients

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Kendra Shaughnessy was thrilled to hear in early 2013 that she would at long last have access to PRHC’s Pain Clinic services.

“I have had chronic back pain for two years, and had been on Pain Clinic waiting list since July 2012,” said Shaughnessy. “I was thrilled when they told me the clinic was expanding and that I’d get  my first treatment in January.”

Until recently, Shaughnessy’s experience was not uncommon amongst individuals waiting for access to the specialized pain clinic; patient demand resulted in an average wait time of six months for the clinic last year.

Part of Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s Medical Outpatients department, the Pain Clinic is supported by two anaesthesiologists with expertise in chronic pain, and provided pain management services to approximately 2500 patients in 2012.

By expanding the pain clinic’s operating hours from three to five days per week in January 2013, as well as adding part-time clerical and nursing support staff to accommodate the increase in patient load, 900 additional patients per year will now have access to this important service, for a total of 3400 patients annually.

“This program expansion marks a significant milestone for patients who have been waiting for access to much-needed, specialized pain management services,” said Jeff Nayler, Manager of PRHC’s Cardiac Cath Lab/PCI, Medical Outpatients and Neuro & Breathing Clinic. “These individuals will now have faster access to the care they need, when they need it.”

Patients waiting for access to the Pain Clinic have been grateful to hear about the expansion. Many of these individuals are looking forward to enjoying improved quality of life as clinic treatments and supports become more readily available to assist them in more effectively managing their chronic pain issues.

“We are very pleased to be able to provide this important expansion in service to our patients experiencing chronic pain,” said Dr. Bharat Maini, one of two anaesthesiologists who provide pain clinic services at PRHC. “By reducing long wait times and providing access to 900 additional patients per year, we will improve the quality of life of patients like Kendra sooner, by giving more patients greater access to the treatments they need to effectively manage their pain,” added Maini.

PRHC offers both diagnostic (e.g. patient evaluation) and therapeutic (e.g. treatment) services to qualifying patients experiencing pain related to a wide variety of medical issues or physical injuries (e.g. back, leg and joint pain).

The primary treatment offered to PRHC Pain Clinic patients is an epidural steroid injection. The clinic also coordinates patients with other hospital or community services to assist with their conditions.

Shaughnessy says she is just grateful to have access to treatments she hopes will help get her back to doing the things she loves:

“Living with chronic back pain has been very difficult – I love gardening and winter sports, so I’m really looking forward to having the ability to do those things again.”

 

Key facts & figures

  • Until recently, PRHC’s Pain Clinic was operating three (3) days per week as part of the Medical Outpatients department
  • The clinic treated about 2500 patients in 2012
  • Prior to program expansion in early 2013, the patient wait time to access the pain clinic was six months
  • This wait time also had an impact on Emergency Department volumes, as patients without access to Pain Clinic services would visit the ED for pain management issues
  • The clinic is now open five (5) days per week, with an increase in part-time staffing to support the increased patient load
  • Program expansion means additional access for 900 patients per year (a total of 3400 patients annually)