In some cases its useful to contact the referring doctor to clarify some referral detail or importantly provide advice for starting pain management options before the first assessment. In some cases this may even prevent an individual actually coming to hospital.
The Pain Specialist has allocated sessions on a weekly basis at which time they screen the referrals and contact the GPs. This can be very useful and may result in
- Starting new medications or altering existing ones
- Suggesting non drug interventions e.g. physiotherapy, Green Prescription & psychology review
- Fast tracking more urgent cases
- Contact patient directly for initial assessment or follow up.
The Pain Nurse Specialist often takes on the Virtual Consult role and discusses ongoing care with the patient themselves
- Reviews medication management
- Oversees treatment changes (eg increasing dosing/ opioid switching or post procedure follow up)
The Aim is to “manage more patients and see less in the DHB”