Providing a “Quick Start” to specialist SCI rehabilitation
The Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service (QSCIS) has developed “QuickStart”, an innovative model of care to support clinicians across the state who are working with people with a newly acquired spinal cord injury.
Demand for QSCIS has exceeded capacity for many years, which has resulted in significant numbers of people with acute SCI spending periods in non-SCI specialist wards, delayed admissions to the Spinal Injuries Unit (SIU) and reduced access to the ‘all of life’ continuum QSCIS has to offer (see fig 1). With the aim of improving early access to specialist SCI support, QuickStart utilises an “in reach” model that is seamlessly integrated within the inpatient, outpatient, transition, and outreach components of QSCIS. QuickStart consists of a full multidisciplinary team that has been offering proactive clinical support and expertise to clinicians around Queensland since April 2022.
Early outcomes after 230 referrals and over 1400 occasions of service are indicative of improved clinical relationships and communication pathways, improved equity of access to specialist SCI services and progression of goal-focused rehabilitation prior to admission to SIU. In some cases, the provision of early SCI rehabilitation has circumvented the need for an admission to the SIU, allowing patients to return home sooner with the ongoing support of the QSCIS continuum.
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One allied health clinician working in an acute inpatient ward wrote: “Through QuickStart’s support I have developed more skills and confidence in the management of patients with spinal cord injuries and feel my patient will continue to get exceptional continuity of care as he moves to rehab. Thanks, QuickStart team!”
QuickStart is a pilot funded through the Commonwealth Brain and Spinal Cord Injury (BaSCI) Project. QSCIS are seeking recurrent funding for the 2023-2024 financial year and beyond so this exciting initiative can continue to give people a ‘Quick Start’ to their specialist SCI rehabilitation.