UW Health OrthoAccess Helps Match Specialists to Patient Needs

(888) 978-4611
UW Health Services
The Right Provider the First Time, Every Time
MADISON - Your healthy, active 50-year-old patient comes to your office complaining of elbow pain. After a thorough examination, you decide a referral to a specialist is appropriate. But with the range of UW Health orthopedic and rehabilitation specialists available for you to select, how do you determine which specialist is right for your patient?

Physicians can now find the answer with OrthoAccess.

"The goal is to get the patient to the right clinic and the right provider the first time, every time," says Kip Schick, director of UW Health's Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Medicine clinics.

Schick says OrthoAccess will streamline the referral process, making access easier for providers and their patients.
"In the past, a patient might have to wait weeks for a visit, only to find out that he or she is in front of the wrong specialist," he says. "The need to reschedule and wait again has a ripple effect on everyone involved - current patients, future patients and physicians."

OrthoAccess: Call (888)-978-4611
OrthoAccess is a new service for physicians who refer patients to any UW Health orthopedics and rehabilitation medicine clinic/provider. By using the phone or e-mail, referring providers will be able to access highly trained nurses who can offer specific recommendations for patient referrals based on the needs of the patient and also can assist providers with setting up appointments.

The OrthoAccess nursing staff is led by Susan Woodman, RN. Since the service launched in February, Woodman says, they have hit the ground running.

"We've already received several calls from regional clinics about a variety of patient concerns," Woodman says. "It's often a question of which provider is most appropriate. For example, an active patient with arthritis who hurts his knee might need a sports medicine consult, or he might need joint replacement surgery. We help providers figure it out."
The service covers all UW Health orthopedic and rehabilitation medicine clinics and operates Monday through Friday from 8am-4:30pm. When a call or e-mail request comes in, OrthoAccess staff collect patient information, including any available imaging or lab results, and based on that information work to direct the patient to the most appropriate provider. While the service works to facilitate requests quickly, Schick cautions that OrthoAccess is meant for non-emergency, ambulatory cases only.

"Emergency cases should still seek out a hospital emergency room or immediate care center," Schick says. "But for non-emergency situations, OrthoAccess can be a great asset to patients and providers. We look forward to watching this service unfold over the coming months."

To contact OrthoAccess, call (888) 978-4611 or e-mail orthoaccess@uwhealth.org. Voice mail and e-mail messages are returned no later than the next business day.
Date published: 4/28/2008