KAMLOOPS – A new outpatient clinic at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops should get you in front of a specialist much faster than in the past.
The new Rapid Access Clinic, which opened on Tuesday, Jan. 30, will allow patients to see a specialist for complex medical assessments without having to be admitted to the hospital, according to a media release from the Interior Health Authority.
“The goal of the clinic is to keep patients out of the hospital. It is managing patients with acute medical conditions that need to be dealt with in a timely fashion,” Royal Inland chief of staff Dr. Todd Ring says in a media release. "With the clinic, what it allows us to do, it allows the patients to see the specialist and get those tests done in a rapid fashion within 48 hours ideally.”
The clinic at Royal Inland will focus on the specialties of cardiology, general internal medicine and neurology.
The clinic will be available to those who are referred by a physician or a nurse practitioner. Any health care practitioner will be able to refer a patient if it is determined that the patient needs fast access to a specialist for assessment or treatment.
“Rapid Access Clinics are designed for patients who experience a medical issue that does not require a hospital stay, but does need the quick evaluation of a specialist,” Health Minister Adrian Dix says in the release.
The prospect of the new clinic has helped in the recruitment of cardiologists to Kamloops. The Interior Health authority also expects it to encourage new family physicians to begin practising in Kamloops.
“The Rapid Access Clinic has been a key initiative behind our recruitment, our general internal medicine positions as well as our new cardiologists coming to work in Kamloops.” Ring says.
Patients who are referred to the clinic will be seen within 24 to 72 hours, Interior Health says. During their time at the clinic, patients will be evaluated by a specialist and given expedited access to diagnostics and laboratory exams.
“Rapid Access Clinics are becoming more prevalent across the country, and they’re proving to be effective ways to speed up diagnosis and begin treatment that will help people avoid hospital admission,” Susan Brown, the chief operating officer of Hospital and Community Services, says in the release.
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