Helping improve access to surgical consults and reducing the workload for health care providers

As part of Nova Scotia Health's Surgical Access and Quality Improvement Strategy, IWK Health’s quality improvement plan, and government’s Action for Health Strategic Plan, a new single-entry intake model for managing and coordinating surgical consult referrals in Nova Scotia launched in March 2023.

This model allows referrals to surgeons to be coordinated through a central office, rather than being sent directly to individual surgeon’s offices.  This is being supported by an eReferral tool that makes the referral process easier and faster. This initiative aims to help improve access to surgical care, help to reduce wait times and improve the overall experience for providers and patients.

Before you can begin using Ocean eReferrals your clinic or office will first need to set up an Ocean site. Clinics and offices are asked to designate a contact to help set up their site. Please go to the 'For Clinic Contacts' page to get started.

Expected Benefits

For Patients

  1. Improved communication about referral status and what to expect

  2. Continued choice/more informed choice (wait times, etc.)

  3. More equitable access to services

  4. Helps reduce wait times

  5. Timely triage to prioritize care

For Providers

  1. Consistent and complete referrals

  2. Less administrative burden for primary care providers

  3. Ability to refer to Central Intake Office to expedite care

  4. Comprehensive and up-to date Central Intake and surgeon directory (HealthMap)

  5. Continued choice by referrer

  6. Less administrative burden for surgeons and specialists, with appropriate referral information

  7. Helps surgeons build practices, supporting recruitment and retention

For the Health System

  1. Access to data on how many patients are awaiting referrals to help better plan and allocate resources

  2. More consistency and coordination of referrals

  3. Opportunities to better distribute demand across the system

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For Receivers
For Clinic Contacts
For Patients
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