15A concussion clinic or network of providers should track timely access to service, use suggested reporting and common data elements, and collect patient-level clinical data, demographic data and administrative data.
It is envisioned that having common data elements (CDEs) will facilitate the implementation of these concussion clinic standards. This will take time to implement but it should be something that clinics and networks of providers work towards. This is an important way of measuring clinical effectiveness, engaging in system-level planning and assessing the degree to which clinics and networks of providers are meeting standards for post-concussion care. By collecting uniform data and following an accepted post-concussion care pathway, comparisons across the province can be made regarding clinical and system outcomes.
What this standard means:
There has already been some work done by acute sites; to identify the population seeking post-concussion treatment and to track patient flow through the healthcare system. It is now time to bring this work into community-based healthcare by encouraging other settings to engage in this level of data collection. Such data can be used to drive policy development, funding decisions and improved understanding of post-concussion care. This will also further increase the understanding of how well the regions and the province are serving the needs of patients post-concussion. It will allow for there to be evidence from across the province to be analyzed; to see what outcomes are common, after what time periods, and after what types of treatments.
Clinics and networks of providers should make every attempt to collect minimum information on their patients, including: age, gender, mechanism/cause of injury, prior concussions, wait time to access care, services used, time to discharge/length of service, referrals and outcomes.