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Access to Care and Timing

Providing expert and timely specialized care results in better patient outcomes, but knowing how to make this a reality remains a constant challenge in health care management.

This is why RHI embarked on the Access to Care and Timing (ACT) project, which is a national, multi-centre research study describing the processes of health care delivery for persons sustaining a traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) in Canada. The investigators on this project include Drs. Marcel Dvorak (Vancouver General Hospital), Michael Fehlings (Toronto Western Hospital), Anthony Burns (Toronto Rehabilitation Institute), Derek Atkins (UBC Sauder School of Business) and Vanessa Noonan (RHI).

The first phase of the ACT project produced a computer simulation model of the national tSCI continuum of care using information related to patient flow, resources and processes of care as well as data from Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry sites across Canada. The ACT model is a tool designed to inform clinical and administrative decision making that optimizes patient outcomes for persons sustaining a tSCI. Through the development of the ACT model, we obtained a national perspective of tSCI care and insight into important similarities and differences, trends over time and opportunities to optimize care. In addition, we identified important gaps in the measurement and reporting of patient flow throughout the continuum of care for persons sustaining a tSCI, which led to the development of some proposed recommendations to enhance existing data sources.

For more information about ACT and its related initiatives, please peruse the links on the right hand column.

ACT Focus Issue

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The ACT Focus Issue is a collaboration of more than 50 researchers and clinicians across Canada. Published in the prestigious Journal of Neurotrauma, the Focus Issue contains 13 peer-reviewed articles based on the ACT project.

Read the key questions and answers the ACT Focus Issue addresses.