A six year process of compiling new minor injury treatment protocols could be close to fruition with the FSCO currently in a consultation process with stakeholders before implementing the guidelines.
The new protocols for car accident victims were created by a multi-disciplined team that was headed by Dr. Pierre Côté, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Côté and his team were tasked with creating the Minor Injury Treatment Protocol (MITP) and over two years worked on their proposed guidelines.
The role of the scientific team was to:
- Assist with the development of the scope for the proposed Minor Injury Guideline.
- Contribute to the literature search.
- Critically appraise and synthesize the scientific literature.
- Prepare progress reports and scientific papers.
- Prepare the "evidence briefs" for the GEP.
- Assist with the development of "draft" clinical recommendations for the GEP.
- Contribute to the development of the clinical prediction rules.
- Attend all meetings of the GEP.
- Assist with the writing of the proposed Minor Injury Guideline.
- Attend meetings with stakeholders upon request of the Chair.
This included arduous research, such as 597 detailed reviews of scientific papers and studies on Ontarians who suffered injury as a result of a traffic accident and sought medical care.
The Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management Collaboration is made up of experts in numerous fields, such as medical staff, scientists, consumers, and auto insurance providers, with various disciplines of these fields being represented.
The result of two years of work was a report called "Enabling Recovery from Common Traffic Injuries: A Focus on the Injured Person.”
However, the report was actually the end of a project that really began to take shape in 2009. That was when the Superintendent’s report on the Five Year Review was released, and one of the recommendations was the creation of a set of treatment guidelines for minor injuries. The government of Ontario accepted this proposal in the 2012 budget as authorities agreed greater scientific methods should be implemented for the treatment of minor injuries caused by road accidents.
The report promises to change the way in which Ontario views and treats minor injuries, placing those injuries into new classifications.
- Type I – An injury with a recovery timeframe of between a few days to a few months. During this healing period the patient may need extra care in the form of clinical management, reassurance, and education.
- Type II – With a Type II injury a non-medical recovery is unlikely and the patient may need clinical care in the form of physiotherapy, psychotherapy, surgery, or other forms of medical care.
- Type III – Type III injuries are for catastrophic injury that results from an auto accident, including continued psychological and physical impairment long after the date of an incident.
The Enabling Recovery from Common Traffic Injuries report covers Type I injuries exclusively and highlights that sufferers of these minor injuries should be educated to know that their own healing process is oftentimes enough, with medical care only useful in sporadic frequency, such as for pain alleviation. The report recommends medical professionals understanding patients with Type I injuries to educate and aid them in the healing process. The new MTIP provides a clear screening process that would help clinicians understand whether a minor Type I injury is developing into something more substantial that requires further medical treatment.
FSCO is now holding the report and will be publishing some of its contents on its website, while also giving stakeholders a chance to view the new MTIP guidelines. Before implementing any changes, it is recommended that a public awareness and educational campaign be embarked on, while the report also states that healthcare professionals and even employees in the auto insurance field will likely need training to familiarize with the new protocols.