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Collaboration leads to improved care for at-risk fracture patients

To mark Osteoporosis Month, Guelph General Hospital (GGH) held a celebration of the success of its Fracture Clinic Screening Program.

First started in 2007, the program is designed to reduce the risk of re-fractures by making sure patients at risk for osteoporosis get assessed and treated. The program targets patients 50 and older who already have a fragility fracture.

On hand to accept the Certificate of Achievement were (l-r) Dr. MacKensie, Ravi Jain, Arlene Mitchell and Merle Seegmiller.

GGH’s Fracture Prevention Coordinator, Arlene Mitchell, helps identify at-risk patients in the Fracture Clinic. She provides education and helps facilitate assessment and treatment. A key diagnostic tool for the assessment is a Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test. It is used to diagnose bone loss and osteoporosis, see how well osteoporosis medicine is working, and predict the risk of future bone fractures.

In 2014, GGH introduced a BMD fast track program for high-risk patients. So far, it has referred about 150 patients to quickly receive this important test. The right preventative interventions can then be determined and the patient is directed to the most appropriate community partners for on-going support and preventive measures.

There’s more than just the hospital involved to ensure success. “It takes a community to provide the best care for these patients,” said Merle Seegmiller, GGH’s Director of Ambulatory Care, Cardiorespiratory and Bariatric Clinic. She explained how the involvement of the various healthcare partners along with properly coordinated care can significantly improve the patients’ ability to prevent future fractures.

At the celebration, Ravi Jain, Director, Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy with Osteoporosis Canada presented a Certificate of Achievement to Arlene and Dr. Mackenzie, a program champion, for their hard work in making the program such a success at GGH.

GGH shares its success with its program partners, Osteoporosis Canada, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and the Ontario Orthopaedic Association because it's the collaboration across all partners that make the program possible.