The provision of Medicine services is central to the role of the Institute. Sports medicine incorporates the total medical care of athletes from pre-participation medical screening through to management at consultant level of appropriate illnesses or injuries. These services include treatment and rehabilitation for injuries occurring during training and competition, medical problems such as asthma, infections, diabetes etc., access to radiological exams and other diagnostic tests as well as sports physiotherapy services.
The Institute has also established a centralised electronic medical records system, IZone. The purpose of the system is similar to the medical records systems (charts) that are kept by a doctor or hospital for any patient that attends. The system has been set up in conjunction with the medical staff of the various NGBs and where necessary customised to the needs of a sport. Presently three sports are using the system Boxing, Rowing and Paralympic sports as well as the medical team at the Institute of Sport. iZone is also being used to support the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes in London.
Further information on Performance Medicine services provided by the Institute can be found in the following sections
High performance sports medicine is an area of Sport and Exercise Medicine that is specifically focused upon high performance athletes. This is a system of health care that focuses on the support and achievement of optimal health of an athlete, which is allied to the athlete's goals to achieve optimal sports performance.
HPSM can be described as the provision of an integrated model of medical care to the high performance athlete, focusing on the maintenance and optimisation of health, well being and competitive sporting performance under circumstances of high physiological and psychological stress (Br J Sports Med Feb 2011 Vol 45 No 2 p81-83).
The medical team at the Irish Institute of Sport are committed to being recognised by our stakeholders as providing leading edge evidence based performance enhancing support to a community of elite high performing sports people, focused on excellence
A challenge is the protection of the health of high-performance athletes while they undertake substantial training loads that aim to optimize their performance, yet can in themselves induce ill health. HPSM is dependent on a multidisciplinary team working in an integrated proactive planned way. Ensuring there is a cohesive and unified approach, which involves both the medical and performance teams, to the care and support of the athlete is key. The system includes preventative strategies, timely interventions and return to sports plans coordinated across the health care and athletic performance teams.
The support team needs to have an insight into and understanding of the nature of their specific sport and be trained and experienced in dealing with the specific physical, physiological and psychological demands that the sport imposes on an athlete. Rapid referral links to subspecialist services is a core component of any high performance medical support system. The Institute has established a rapid access referral system with the National Orthopaedic Hospital at Cappagh and with other centers for Specialist opinions and services
Chartered physiotherapists use their skills in treating injured athletes from the management of acute and ongoing injuries (rehabilitation), to the assessment and planning of an overall programme to prevent injury (prehabilitation). For optimal effect a physiotherapist does not work in isolation but relies on the expertise of the coach, the strength and conditioning coach and the sports medicine doctor. Through teamwork, an agreement is reached on the short, medium and ultimate long-term goals of the athlete and what support package is required to attain those goals.
The other facet of physiotherapy outside of performance optimization and injury prevention is injury management. Having a multi-disciplinary team under one roof allows for a prompt integrated response to injury management if required.
The Institute uses a network of chartered physiotherapists with vast experience in working with high performance athletes and sports. Currently the Institute are working with National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs) in developing networks of sports specific physiotherapists to work with high performance athletes. In most sports a High Performance Lead Physiotherapist will be appointed to coordinate physiotherapy services in that sport. This will ensure that the highest quality of physiotherapy care is given to all athletes.
Specialist Medical Services
The Institute will hold a small contingency fund for surgery and significant other medical expenses that may be incurred by athletes. As this is a limited fund certain criteria apply in cases where there is a request to the Institute for payment of medicine or science services for a carded athlete which is not covered by the performance plan budget of a sport e.g. medical surgery. Radiological imaging e.g. x-rays, ultrasound, MRI, and blood tests are covered within the sport's performance plan budget.
Any claim being made for contingency funding must be made well in advance (excluding unforeseen medical emergencies). The request must be made in writing by the Performance Director and include a brief medical history, the proposed procedure and an estimate of costs. The claim will then be considered by the IIS and the final outcome will be made in writing to the sport / doctor.
To access this fund please contact your Performance Director or Medical Services Coordinator.
A copy of the Contingency Fund claim form is available below.
Contingency Fund claim form
The Irish Institute of Sport has established a centralised electronic medical records system. The purpose of the system is similar to the medical records systems (charts) that are kept by a doctor or hospital for any patient that attends. The system records and stores demographic information, injury and illness histories and treatments of elite Irish athletes.
The aim of the system is to improve the medical management of an athlete by enabling authorised medical staff to have access to an athlete's medical record and to communicate with one another while working both in Ireland and abroad.
The system is accessible via the web to authorised users only so that the doctor or physiotherapist can have access to up-to-date medical information about the athlete. The system also allows users to message one another thus improving communication between the medical staff.
Information stored will include:
- Basic demographic data.
- Significant contact information.
- Injury and illness history.
- Medication and vaccination history.
- Treatment history.
The data can only be accessed by authorised medical staff using unique usernames and passwords.
Athletes need to sign a consent form before their information will be entered into the system. If you do not sign the consent form your medical information will not be uploaded onto the system. Consent maybe withdrawn at anytime or it can be withheld in respect of any part of the athlete's medical information. Withdrawal or withholding of consent will not affect the athlete's access to funding, medical care or access to other service provision. The athletes NGB high performance team will be informed of the decision.
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