ProCare’s GPMRI team reaches milestone in training 1,000 GPs across the North Island

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ProCare, in conjunction with Pinnacle Midlands Health Network, is proud to support the GP Magnetic Resonance Imaging (GPMRI) team to reach the milestone of over 1,000 GPs trained in how to make a referral to MRI services.

The latest training session saw a number of new GPs trained, resulting in a total of 1,004 GPs accredited since the launch of the project in 2017.

Paul Roseman, Managing Director of Strategic Development at ProCare, says: “The ACC GPMRI project is creating pathways to help GPs make direct referrals for MRIs, removing the need for patients to see a specialist before they can access at MRI. The pathway focuses on patients with knee and back (cervical and lumbar spine) injuries.

“Thanks to this initiative, patient wait times to access diagnostics have been significantly reduced, unnecessary surgery is avoided, money is saved, and ultimately the rehabilitation process can begin more quickly.” says Roseman.

Sessions include learning about the program and patient eligibility, as well as how to perform musculoskeletal assessments. Additionally, GPs learn the referral mechanism to ACC MRI providers, providing clinical governance and support, and collecting patient results.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive Officer of ProCare, said: “This is a great example of how innovation can bring a number of positive benefits to patients and the wider healthcare system. Streamlining MRI services using the already deep knowledge of GPs just makes sense and we have seen waiting times cut by almost half.

“To be able to deliver these kinds of results and to have trained so many GPs, while dealing with a global pandemic over the past two years, is a testament to the team’s hard work to ensure that patients receive the best possible care,” concludes Norwell.

The GPMRI team focused on continuing the national roll-out by running several training sessions for GPs across the North Island – with the most recent training session in Tauranga.

There are now accredited GPs all over the upper North Island, from Taranaki to Tairāwhiti, and north to Te Tai Tokerau. Planning for Thames is underway.

The rollout follows a pilot project with ProCare and Mercy Radiology that started in Auckland in 2017. The GPMRI service was successfully piloted with several other PHOs between 2018 and 2020, reducing the wait time between referral to MRI from an average of 23 days to 12.4 days.

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