Wait Time Benchmarks for Patients with Chronic Pain
|Condition||Wait time for first assessment by pain subspecialist after referral by primary physician*|
|Nerve Damage After surgery or Trauma†||Within 30 days|
|Pain Related to Disc Problems†||Within 3 months|
|Cancer pain†‡||Within 14 days|
|Exacerbations or Flare Ups of Chronic Pain†||Within 3 months|
|Other types of chronic pain||Within 6 months|
* These wait times do not include subsequent waits for rehabilitation programs, psychology-based programs, or interventional procedures that may be deemed appropriate after the initial consultation with a pain subspecialist.
† These are conditions for which early intervention may provide particular benefits for the patient. They may be considered to be “sentinels”: if services for these conditions can be consistently provided within the benchmarked time interval, then care is probably being provided in an appropriate timeframe for similar chronic pain conditions.
‡ Service within 14 days is recommended for patients who do not have access to a palliative service or in cases in which a palliative care team has asked for a specific procedure.