GPMRI team expands to include nurse practitioners

ProCare is pleased to support the ACC GPMRI Service expanding to include nurse practitioners. From today, 1 December 2023, nurse practitioners working in primary care will be able to refer eligible ACC patients or clients for MRI scans for knee, back and neck injuries, removing the need for patients to visit a specialist before accessing an MRI.

Bindi Norwell, ProCare Group CEO says: “This is something ProCare has been advocating for over the past three years, so we are thrilled to see this is enabled for our nurse practitioners.

“This will help further reduce wait times for patients to access diagnostics, and will contribute to less unnecessary surgery, save money and ultimately, the rehabilitation process can begin faster,” concludes Norwell.

Dr Allan Moffit, ProCare’s Clinical Director says, “We have seen fantastic results from this programme so far with GPs, so expanding to include nurse practitioners is a logical step forward.

“Streamlining MRI services but maintaining tight quality control has proven to benefit patients. We’ve seen wait times almost halve as a result of the programme speeding people’s recovery,” concludes Moffitt.

Nurse Practitioners will need to be trained before using the service. The sessions include learning about the programme and patient eligibility, and how to perform musculoskeletal assessments. Additionally, they will learn the mechanism for making a referral to ACC MRI providers, providing clinical governance and support, as well as collection of patient outcomes.

The GPMRI programme follows a successful pilot with ProCare and Mercy Radiology which began in Auckland in 2017. The GPMRI service was successfully trialled between 2018 and 2020, cutting the wait time from referral to MRI from an average of 23 days to 12.4 days

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