ISAEC: Interprofessional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics
Low Back Pain (LBP): is a prevalent condition: in one year, it is anticipated that approximately 18% of the population will have LBP, with 40% seeking care. Approximately 90% of individuals will have “positive” findings when sent for imaging. The clinical relevance of these findings is questionable. While the vast majority (approximately 80-90%) of patients do not require any intervention beyond lifestyle management, the “positive” findings from imaging results usually lead to a higher intensity of care than evidence would suggest is necessary, resulting in patients waiting upwards of one year for unnecessary consults and investigations.
The Province of Ontario has set out to pilot a new model of care for LBP patients. The pilot, Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics (ISAEC), builds on the best practices of programs in and outside of Ontario. The pilot involves the deployment of specially trained Advanced Practice Clinicians to provide timely assessment, education and treatment plans to eligible patients who have been referred to ISAEC by their primary care provider.
ISAEC clinicians will perform a comprehensive assessment, including the identification of Yellow Flags and possible inflammatory conditions. Patients assessed through ISAEC will receive a tailored treatment plan that emphasizes self-management strategies. ISAEC patients may be referred to a medical specialist or community-based provider to support their plan. Patients will be provided with more streamlined access to specialists and diagnostic imaging when indicated.