New BC-wide surgery booking system

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 52, No. 9, November 2010, Page 472 News

After 3 years of use, the Clinical Assessment Tool has now been discontinued and replaced with a standard province-wide, diagnosis-based prioritization system for all adult and pediatric elective surgeries in BC (see the Figure). As of 1 December 2010 three additional fields will be added to all Health Authority OR booking forms—two of those fields will be for “Date of Decision for Surgery” and “Cancer Status” and the third will be mandatory completion of a “Condition/Diagnostic code” field. 

More than 120 surgical leaders across the province representing 14 surgical reference groups and subspecialties provided feedback on the development of a comprehensive list of adult patient condition/diagnosis codes. 

The new system is designed to be much simpler to use. Surgeons will select the relevant patient condition/diagnosis code from the list provided by their health authority and enter it on their existing OR booking form, rather than filling in a separate form. These codes link every patient’s diagnosis and clinical condition to one of five priority levels and an associated maximum wait time target.

Because these changes are being incorporated into your health authority’s OR booking form, there will be no fee attached for completing it.

Benefits for surgeons
Because there is now an objective and standardized methodology for designating patient diagnosis/condition descriptions to a priority level, surgeons will be able to review their wait listed patients by level of urgency and see how long their patients have been waiting relative to the maximum recommended target. 

The elimination of the Clinical Assessment Tool means one less form to complete as part of the OR booking process. Surgeons will still make the decision with their patient when to have surgery. 

Benefits for patients
The standardized method used across the province for prioritizing patients will enable waitlists to be managed fairly and barriers to reducing wait times will be identified. This is intended ultimately to improve access for BC’s surgical patients.

Watch for further information coming your way soon from the BCMA, the Provincial Surgical Advisory Council, and your health authority.

. New BC-wide surgery booking system. BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. 9, November, 2010, Page(s) 472 - News.

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