Miss Claire Tharakan1, Miss Jo Sobb1, Dr James Beazley1
1Qld Health, Cairns, Australia
Introduction: To assist with the increasing orthopaedic workload in our hospital, an allied health led hand therapy clinic was established to manage all post-operative care of routine hand surgeries. The aim of this study was to evaluate patient and doctor satisfaction with this alternative service delivery model.
Methods: A descriptive prospective evaluation was undertaken, whereby satisfaction surveys were completed by orthopaedic doctors and patients regarding the complete management of routine post-operative hand conditions in an allied health led clinic. Feedback was collated and analysis of free text content for commonly occurring themes were grouped for interpretation.
Results: Six-weeks post-operatively, 81 patients were seen by an allied health professional rather than a doctor. Patient satisfaction was high with 94% satisfied with complete management by an allied health professional, 2% preferred an orthopaedic surgeon, and 4% their general practitioner. All patients rated their care with the allied health professional as good or excellent and 100% reported confidence in the therapists’ abilities. Of the 31 orthopaedic surgeons, 19 completed a satisfaction survey at the end of the study period. All surgeons were satisfied with the quality of care provided and were confident in allied health managing post-operative, routine hand surgeries.
Conclusion: The allied heath led model of care had high patient and doctor satisfaction, demonstrating it to be an acceptable alternate pathway for the management of routine post-operative hand surgery patients.
Claire is an occupational therapist working at Cairns Hospital in hand therapy. She graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2015 and has completed a post graduate certificate in rehabilitation from James Cook University in 2018.