Commentary from a Ontario Family Health Team about ECHO Ontario.
"As the spokesperson for the Iroquois Falls Family Health team in Ontario, I am pleased to inform you how much our community has been helped by this project. In our town, there is a high number of patients, who are on narcotics for many different pain conditions and this usually results in further incapacity and lack of quality of life.
We work very closely with our pharmacists and their statistics indicate that over 20% of all prescriptions filled in this town have some form of narcotic in them. In our clinic 30% of the patients are treated for pain-related conditions ranging from headaches, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, work-related injuries, diabetes, arthritis and chronic widespread pain syndrome, etc. We had around 2,000 office visits last year for pain-related conditions.
In the past, it would take us at least one year until a patient could be seen by specialists and usually the answer was not helpful to us, unless in the surgical cases. Most cases with come back with the diagnosis of chronic pain syndrome but no clear guidelines to help us to proper manage the patient’s pain.
The Echo Project has helped us to get a full assessment of each individual case in a multidisciplinary approach and guide us on the management and further treatment plan for each case. We have learned lots about chronic pain and the most appropriate alternatives to improve the pain and its management. Our team is thrilled to have the Echo team coaching us all the way and the patients are also relieved by finally understanding what their condition is.
We are happy to finally be able to improve the care of our patients who suffer from chronic pain.
Dr. Auri Bruno-Petrina , MD PhD
MICs Group of Health Services
Iroquois Falls Family Health Team"
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