In January 2020, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) saw the introduction of a new method of reaching patients who are eligible to be screened through the Fracture Screening and Prevention Program (FSPP), the ﬂagship secondary fracture prevention program from the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy.
In some areas, especially in northern Ontario, one of the challenges of the program is that patients might not return to fracture clinic or see their orthopaedic surgeon in person for follow-up after a fracture. This can be for several reasons, but the distance from the hospital can be a signiﬁcant factor. At (TBRHSC), patients from distant communities in the north-west of the Province can remain in or close to their communities and complete their medical appointments via the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).
To further support patients aged 50 and over who have a fragility fracture, Dawn Fortier, Fracture Prevention Coordinator at TBRHSC, has now started to screen eligible patients via OTN. Dawn sees these patients immediately after they have completed their appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon. This means that these patients no longer miss out on receiving important bone health information and appropriate referrals for further management and support from their health care providers.
Support from OTN staﬀ and Coordinators at TBRHSC and in the diﬀerent communities has proved invaluable in helping Dawn understand how the system works and establishing herself as a regular OTN user. Mentoring from Diane Tetley, Telemedicine Support Specialist at TBRHSC has also proved key in ensuring the smooth integration of OTN into the screening process.
Diane Tetley - Telemedicine Support Specialist (left) &
Dawn Fortier - Fracture Prevention Coordinator at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre