ISAEC RAC Referrals

We understand many of you are continuing to see patients virtually or in person and as such, the Low Back RAC central intake offices (CIOs) are still receiving referrals. However, given the current health care environment with COVID – 19, these new referrals have been on hold effective March 19, 2020 until precautions for non-urgent outpatient care are lifted or appropriate virtual assessment for new assessments are regionally instituted. Please note, follow-up assessments have continued by phone.

As per our established referral criteria, emergent and urgent referrals are out of scope and should continue to be directed to the emergency department and/or a surgeons’ office for further screening and evaluation as appropriate.   

Virtual Assessments for ISAEC RAC patients

Not all regions have the capacity to perform virtual care however, some regions will start virtual assessments in an effort to reduce the volume of referrals waiting for an appointment. Please refer to the attached central intake office correspondence for information concerning the status of referrals for your region.

We are rapidly developing a standardized assessment that can be performed virtually, yet ensure a high degree of privacy, quality and safety for your patients. The goal is to improve function and pain,  self-management, prevent unnecessary ER visits, and provide support to the health-care system for the management of low back pain. Patients will be contacted and screened to ensure they are able to participate in a virtual assessment and receive an appropriate exercise program with strategies for self-management. If they are not eligible (e.g. no internet access or video capable device) their referral will continue to be on hold. Our goal is to incrementally offer virtual assessments starting by the end of next week and possibly sooner. We will continue to refine the virtual process as we learn from you and your patients in this difficult time.   

Online Resources for Self-Management of Low Back Pain

We recognize this is a challenging time for both you and the patients of Ontario as you try to navigate best resources and deliver appropriate care to those in need.  We recommend the following online resources for self-management of low back pain and chronic pain management 

Interprofessional Spine Assessment and Education Clinic (ISAEC)

Back Care Canada

Toronto Academic and Pain Medicine Institute (TAPMI) 

Mike Evans video on Low Back Pain

Patient Education Handouts

In response to COVID 19, our team has developed two resources for patients who present with either flexion or extension aggravated symptoms.  Patients can be directed to these in the “patient resources” tab of hfam to download these.

Central Intake Office Status 

Please find attached correspondence from your regional central intake office 

Additional Questions

Contact the ISAEC Operations team at ISAEC@uhn.ca  

Specific Case Discussion

If there is a specific case you would like to discuss please contact the Practice Lead for your region- David Dos Santos 905.521.2100 ext. 44227

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