– Before we introduced Fast Track, we would send these patients home with painkillers, with an invitation to go to their health center to get a referral for an X-ray. But it is pedagogically difficult to send patients in a lot of pain home without a specific diagnosis, says Katarina Luckmann Frostried, head of the emergency department unit at Helsingborg Hospital.
In the new fast track, the Emergency Department, X-Ray Department and Urology Department cooperate. As a patient, this means that after pain relief in the emergency room, you are sent directly to an X-ray. Once you get there, you will be X-rayed once there is a gap. X-rays provide answers about whether or not it is a kidney stone, and if so it should be treated.
– As a patient you gain a lot from waiting. Knowing the cause of the pain makes a big difference, says Magnus Vagenius, head of urology at Helsingborg Hospital.
Cooperation has brought benefits to everyone
In the X-ray Department, new procedures have been developed to be able to suit patients suspected of having acute flow kidney stones. This means that bookable times that could have been reserved for these patients are freed up.
The collaboration has so far resulted in satisfied patients and satisfied companies.
-I'm happy and proud. We have worked in line with the new National Stone Disease Care Program and are well ahead when compared across the country. It meant a little extra work for everyone in development, but we made it easier for patients and built a process that everyone benefits from. “We want to spread the knowledge further so that more people can follow our example,” says Magnus Vagenius.
Large stones are processed in Angelholm
At the Urology Clinic in Angelholm, all X-ray examinations indicating the presence of kidney stones are reviewed every morning. With Fast Track, there are now standardized referrals and answers ready to be sent – depending on what the X-ray shows.
If kidney stones are large and cannot be passed with urine, they must be removed. Recently, a method has been introduced in Ángelholm where ureteral stones are treated using a laser. This treatment does not require anesthesia and can be performed at the reception desk, which has shortened waiting times there as well.
-Fast-tracking is a win-win for patients, but also for healthcare in general. There will likely be fewer repeat visits to the emergency room, as kidney stone patients can often receive treatment early and find out why they are experiencing pain. When treatment proceeds faster, the patient is less likely to develop complications, says Frederik Altmark, a specialist in urology.
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