Each year, Alberta Health Services (the province wide, fully-integrated health system in Alberta) recognizes exceptional accomplishments by teams across the province through the President’s Excellence Awards.  Alberta’s Fracture Liaison Service Team is the recipient of the 2018 award for Outstanding Achievement in Innovation and Research Excellence. This award recognizes an individual or team who demonstrates outstanding improvements to quality care, patient experience, patient and population health outcomes and health system performance through the successful introduction of an innovation.  Alberta’s FLS team was selected as one of three winners in this category from a record 138 nominations total.

Alberta’s FLS team has implemented a provincial FLS program that is evidence-based and cost-effective. Like all Fracture Liaison Services, its goal is to help to close the care gap between orthopedic surgery and associated acute care, as well as help bridge the transition to primary care for management of patients’ underlying osteoporosis. This work helps individuals return to functional independence and reach their individual goals for wellness.

Starting in 2015, Misericordia Community Hospital was the first site within Alberta to establish an FLS program.  Since then, FLS programs have been implemented at a further seven hospitals (Peter Lougheed Centre, Red Deer Regional Hospital, University of Alberta Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Foothills Medical Centre, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and Rockyview General Hospital) with two new sites opening in Fall 2018, and a commitment to spread province-wide.  The program is funded by the AHS Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network and is supported by the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute.

Osteoporosis will affect one in three women and one in five men in their lifetime, making fractures from osteoporosis more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. With an ever-growing aging population, the need for such innovation is only set to increase.