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Akinox Automates Referrals for NeuroSTEP

Akinox helps automate referrals & streamline transitions of care for patients across key life trajectories for the Neurosurgery transition e-program (NeuroSTEP).

The Neurosurgery Team of Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) heads the NeuroSTEP program. NeuroSTEP, with the support of the Akinox eHealth Enterprise Platform, will introduce an automated eHeath methodology for improving care through the standardization of two types of referral pathways: from Primary care practitioners to neurosurgical specialist sites and from pediatric to adult neurosurgery.

The project aims to develop and evaluate a pilot phase e-Health strategy in the province of Ontario that strives to address current gaps in the transition of care of neurosurgery patients across key life trajectories, starting with the transition from pediatric to adult care, the transition between remote locations to a neurological center, and the bi-directional flow of patients between acute and chronic care settings.

This is of particular importance in Ontario, as the neurosurgical sub-specialty has been shown to have the longest wait lists for transition between primary care physician and sub-specialist following an outpatient referral. It is well known that any delay in assessment and intervention is clearly adversely correlated with survival and health outcomes.

This pilot project has four aims: streamlining patient referrals through standardized online intake forms; improving communication with patients through an individualized dashboard; tailored patient education; and the maintenance of continuity of care through patient-specific real-time reminders. The primary outcome will focus on the satisfaction of adult patients from remote community regions, and of pediatric patients graduating to adult outpatient care at the Department of Neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital.

The NeuroSTEP program will see the development, deployment, evaluation, and scaling of an eHealth solution that is comprised of distinct yet interrelated objectives that address areas of concern in patient transition of care. The eHealth solution will be developed in partnership with Akinox on its enterprise eReferral platform. Inter-operability will be ensured to avoid duplication while smoothening the transition.

Once NeuroSTEP has been established and implemented as a pilot project for neurosurgery, it will be expanded to other centers and specialties throughout Ontario. In parallel, key opinion leaders within the healthcare system will be approached to disseminate knowledge regarding the project’s outcomes.

Akinox would like to take the opportunity to thank the outstanding clinical members of this team, among which Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, Dr. Eric Massicotte, Dr. Mojgan Hodaie, Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni, Dr. Alireza Mansouri, as the patient partners, Mr. Bisenberger and Ms. Phillips, and the support of UHN leadership and CEO Dr. Kevin Smith. We are looking forward to learning a lot in this collaborative environment and to helping best serve the neurosurgery patients in Ontario. Akinox is also grateful for the Transitions in Care grant awarded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) to the NeuroSTEP program which ranked 2nd nationally among all projects submitted.

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