Closing the post-fracture care gap for the patients at Peace Arch Hospital (White Rock, British Columbia) has been a long-time dream for Dr. Sonia Singh. As a family physician who worked for 25 years in the Emergency Department, she has seen many repeat fractures which could and should have been prevented in the first place.
Inspired by Osteoporosis Canada’s FOCUS (Fractures = Osteoporosis Care for Us) Forum in November 2011, she organized a first meeting of stakeholders from the Fraser Health Authority interested in implementing a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) in March 2012.
FLS in Canada still remains a relatively foreign entity. So despite the overwhelming evidence demonstrating that FLSs are both clinically effective and cost-effective, it is usually not an easy task to find funding for a province’s first FLS prototype. The Peace Arch FLS team persevered in their efforts and were rewarded: a grant was received from the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation and the FLS prototype opened its doors in February 2015.
The Peace Arch FLS is a 3i FLS model delivering appropriate osteoporosis care to the fragility fracture patients seen within the hospital’s orthopaedic outpatient clinics. Within the first year, the FLS had already shown huge improvements in patient care: the rate of osteoporosis treatment and /or referral to an osteoporosis specialist for specific complex indications in high risk patients went from 22% pre-FLS to 76% post FLS, a truly remarkable accomplishment in such a short time span and could not have been achieved without the committed support of the local orthopedic surgeons.
Having demonstrated the FLS’s immense value for fragility fracture patients, it became imperative to identify a sustainable source of funding. Working together for this common goal, the BC Ministry of Health Nurse Practitioner Program, Fraser Health Authority, White Rock/South Surrey Division of Family Practice and the Peace Arch Hospital administration provided for the FLS’s sustainability. The FLS is now a permanent and integral service at Peace Arch Hospital.
Congratulations to Dr. Singh and her FLS team for their on-going efforts and success! Osteoporosis Canada is grateful to the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation who had the foresight to see the immense value of the proposed FLS model. And kudos to the healthcare administrators for recognizing and supporting such an effective program!
It truly takes a village to raise an FLS.