Rapid Access Clinics for Low Back Pain

Rapid Access Clinics (RACs) for Low Back Pain are being rolled out across the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to help improve the quality, access and appropriateness of care for people with low back pain.

Rapid Access Clinics for Low Back Pain stems from the Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics (ISAEC) shared-care model. ISAEC began in 2012 as a pilot in Toronto, Hamilton, and Thunder Bay and specializes in improving access to low back pain assessment, education and management.

The ISAEC program consistently demonstrated positive results for low back pain patients. This proven model of care is now being implemented across the Toronto Central LHIN as Rapid Access Clinics (RACs) for Low Back Pain. 

Care Pathway

Patients who meet the eligibility criteria (see FAQ) can be referred into the Rapid Access Clinics (RACs) for Low Back Pain. Primary care providers will complete a standardized RAC Low Back Pain referral form and submit it to the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Central Intake Office. Patients referred to RAC Low Back Pain will be matched to an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) based on proximity and availability, and will have their initial one hour assessment within four weeks of referral.

Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are physiotherapists and chiropractors, specially trained in treating patients with low back pain. They provide patients with a thorough standardized assessment, and develop a personalized self-management plan with the patient and their primary care provider. The self-management plan emphasizes education and health promotion strategies and is designed to help patients better self-manage their low back pain. Patients identified by the Advanced Practice Providers as requiring more advanced assessment and management are referred to a Practice Leader.

Practice Leaders (PLs) are hospital-based health professionals (chiropractors and physiotherapist) who have received advanced training from spine surgeons to manage potential surgical candidates. Practice Leaders order diagnostic imaging (e.g. MRI), recommend appropriate advanced interventions (e.g. spinal injections), and refer patients for a consultation with a spine surgeon where necessary.

Gaining Referral Privileges

If you are a physician or nurse practitioner interested in gaining referral privileges to Rapid Access Clinics for Low Back Pain please click below to register for the online training module:

 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
 

Visit "Primary Care Provider Resources"  for more information.

Rapid Access Clinics for Low Back Pain services are fully covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

 Primary Care Provider Resources      Patient and Family Resources 

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Rapid Access Clinics for Low Back Pain, please contact the Toronto Central LHIN MSK Central Intake Office:

  • Phone: 416-967-8617

Toronto Central LHIN Lead for RAC Low Back Pain Pathway

Shama Umar,
Senior Consultant, Performance Management
shama.umar@tc.lhins.on.ca