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01.12.2012 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012

Utilization and cost of a new model of care for managing acute knee injuries: the Calgary acute knee injury clinic

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2012
Breda HF Lau, Mark R Lafave, Nicholas G Mohtadi, Dale J Butterwick
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

BL, ML, and NM developed the study design. BL and ML carried out the statistical analysis. BL drafted the manuscript. NM and DB were involved in the conception of the study. All authors (BL, ML, NM, and DB) contributed to critically appraising, reviewing, and approving each draft of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect a large proportion of the Canadian population and present a huge problem that continues to strain primary healthcare resources. Currently, the Canadian healthcare system depicts a clinical care pathway for MSDs that is inefficient and ineffective. Therefore, a new inter-disciplinary team-based model of care for managing acute knee injuries was developed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada: the Calgary Acute Knee Injury Clinic (C-AKIC). The goal of this paper is to evaluate and report on the appropriateness, efficiency, and effectiveness of the C-AKIC through healthcare utilization and costs associated with acute knee injuries.


This quasi-experimental study measured and evaluated cost and utilization associated with specific healthcare services for patients presenting with acute knee injuries. The goal was to compare patients receiving care from two clinical care pathways: the existing pathway (i.e. comparison group) and a new model, the C-AKIC (i.e. experimental group). This was accomplished through the use of a Healthcare Access and Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (HAPSQ).


Data from 138 questionnaires were analyzed in the experimental group and 136 in the comparison group. A post-hoc analysis determined that both groups were statistically similar in socio-demographic characteristics. With respect to utilization, patients receiving care through the C-AKIC used significantly less resources. Overall, patients receiving care through the C-AKIC incurred 37% of the cost of patients with knee injuries in the comparison group and significantly incurred less costs when compared to the comparison group. The total aggregate average cost for the C-AKIC group was $2,549.59 compared to $6,954.33 for the comparison group (p <.001).


The Calgary Acute Knee Injury Clinic was able to manage and treat knee injured patients for less cost than the existing state of healthcare delivery. The combined results from this study show that the C-AKIC is an appropriate, effective, and efficient model of clinical care for patients presenting with acute knee injuries.
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