Structure, processes, and initial outcomes of The Ottawa Hospital Multi-Specialist Limb-Preservation Clinic and Programme: A unique-in-Canada quality improvement initiative

Jun 28, 2021

Corrine McIsaac, PhD, RN

Published Journal Articles

In 2017, The Ottawa Hospital initiated a unique-in-Canada quality improvement initiative by opening a novel, multi-specialist limb-preservation clinic. We sought to describe the structure, processes, and initial outcomes of the clinic and evaluate whether it is achieving its mandate of providing high-quality wound clinical care, education, and research. We conducted a descriptive prospective cohort study alongside a nested study of 162 clinic patients requiring serial assessments. 

There have been 1623 visits, mostly (72.2%) from outpatients. During 17.8% of visits, patients were evaluated by >1 specialist. Therapies provided most often included negative-pressure wound therapy (32.7%), biological wound dressings (21.6%), and total contact casting (18.5%).

Furthermore, 1.2% underwent toe/ray amputations or skin grafting in clinic and 22.8% were initiated on antimicrobials. Mixed-effects models suggested that mean wound volumes for those requiring serial assessments decreased by 1.6 (95% confidence interval = 0.86 to 2.27) cm3 between visits. 

The clinic provided seven rotations to vascular surgery, infectious diseases, dermatology, and palliative care physicians; three nursing preceptorships; and two educational workshops. It also initiated provincial and national vascular health and wound care research initiatives. This study may be used to guide development of other limb-preservation clinics and programmes. Findings support that our programme is achieving its mandate.

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