Adopting and sustaining a Virtual Fracture Clinic model in the District Hospital setting – a quality improvement approach
- Correspondence to KARTIK LOGISHETTY
- Received 26 October 2016
- Revision requested 9 November 2016
- Revised 15 December 2016
- Published 6 February 2017
Virtual Fracture Clinics (VFCs) are an alternative to the conventional fracture clinics, to manage certain musculoskeletal injuries. This has recently been reported as a safe, cost-effective and efficient care model. As demonstrated at vanguard sites in the United Kingdom, VFCs can enhance patient care by standardising treatment and reducing outpatient appointments.
This project demonstrates how a Quality Improvement approach was applied to introduce VFCs in the District General Hospital setting. We demonstrate how undertaking Process Mapping, Driver Diagrams, and Stakeholder Analysis can assist implementation. We discuss Whole Systems Measures applicable to VFCs, to consider how robust and specific data collection can progress this care model.
Three Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles led to a change in practice over a 21-month period. Our target for uptake of new patients seen in VFCs within 6 months of starting was set at 50%. It increased from 0% to 56.1% soon after introduction, and plateaued at an average of 56.4% in the six-months before the end of the study period.
Careful planning, frequent monitoring, and gathering feedback from a multidisciplinary team of varying seniority, were the important factors in transitioning to, and sustaining, a successful VFC model.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: