Monday December 5, 2011

Health News

Delivering Data Empowers Patients

Online tool assists patients waiting for surgery 

Released by Roy Thorpe-Dorward, FHA


atients and physicians can easily find the names of surgeons in Fraser Health who may be able to perform surgical procedures sooner than others with the launch today of a new online tool.

By choosing a surgical procedure from a drop-down list , a list of five surgeons in Fraser Health are shown that are predicted to be able to perform the surgery sooner. With over 250 surgeons operating in 10 hospitals, it has been a challenge in the past to know all the surgical specialists and their predicted wait times for surgery.


"Long surgical wait times are a challenge across the country. While a knee replacement or hernia repair might not be urgent, for the individuals waiting, it can be an unpleasant experience. The Soonest Surgery Tool is one way we can inform patients of surgical wait times so that they are able to make informed decisions about their surgery," said Dr. Nigel Murray, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fraser Health in a press release today.

The Soonest Surgery Tool, found at , uses data that Fraser Health provides daily for the Ministry of Health's Surgical Patient Registry. Using calculations based on the number of procedures that the surgeon has performed in the last four months, and the number of patients on their wait list, a list of the five surgeons is shown.

In addition, the website provides helpful information on how to prepare for surgery including checklists for patients, information for patients on post-surgery care and how family and friends can help.


"Using data that we've already collected and transforming that data into a tool that is simple to use and provides information that patients can easily access is a great idea. While developing the tool, Fraser Health has made a commitment early on to consider the potential for replication by other health authorities. We hope that the other health authorities follow suit," said Dr. Erdem Yazganoglu, Manager, Surgical Patient Registry, Provincial Health Services Authority.

Fraser Health is the first health authority in North America to develop and present information on surgical wait lists in this easy to use format. For those patients who wish to have their surgery as soon as possible, this tool is an invaluable source of information for physician referrals.


"Patients will now have far more information about how to prepare themselves for surgery. They'll know how to prepare physically and they'll be better prepared psychologically by knowing what to expect. Hopefully, this will help to reduce the pre-operative stress that surgery can bring for our patients," said Dr. Peter Blair, Program Medical Director, Surgical Services, Fraser Health.

Fraser Health provides a wide range of integrated health services to the largest and fastest growing population in B.C. The health authority is committed to improving the health of the population and the quality of life of more than 1.6 million people living in communities from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.


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