A primary care physician using tablet to make a digital referral

System Coordinated Access eReferrals Program Allows Ontario Physicians and Surgeons to Meet October Deadline for CPSO Policy Changes for Transitions in Care

EMR-integrated platform automates patient and provider notifications for healthcare referrals, saving time for clinic staff while engaging patients

Toronto, ON,  October 24, 2019 – With the recent changes to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) policy for Transitions in Care, Ontario’s physicians and surgeons are facing new expectations related to making and acknowledging referrals, and communicating consultant appointments to patients. These changes, including a maximum 14-day response time and mandated communication with both patients and providers, were designed to help ensure more timely access to care while engaging patients in the process. With less than a month to adhere to the updated policy, many clinics are looking at their options to ensure they have the people and processes in place to meet the new requirements.  

This policy update comes on the heels of the release of the Ministry of Health’s Digital Health Playbook intended to help Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) build their digital strategy, which allows OHTs to offer eServices including eReferrals and eConsults. Together, these changes have led many to turn to technology solutions for help addressing both the Transitions in Care policy changes and the OHT eServices expectations without adding staff or increasing workload.

To support physicians and surgeons in meeting these new expectations, the eHealth Centre of Excellence’s System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program offers a fully funded eReferral solution. Ocean eReferrals are currently used by over 800 healthcare providers in Ontario. Designed to automate many aspects of healthcare referrals, this solution is providing clinicians access to an EMR-integrated platform that is making the process more efficient for both referring physicians and consultant providers.

The Ocean eReferral Network offers the following features to meet the new CPSO guidelines:

  • For referring physicians, Ocean eReferral forms can be prepopulated with patient information from their chart. The forms can also include the information necessary for the consultant health-care provider to understand the question(s) or issue(s) they are being asked to consult on.  As an added value, referring physicians can view wait times in the directory to ensure referrals are appropriately directed.
  • For consulting physicians, Ocean eReferrals offers an Accept button to easily acknowledge referrals upon receipt. This action automatically triggers a notification to both the referrer and the patient. Referrals are never lost in transmission and can be clearly categorized, prioritized, and tracked. 
  • For patients, Ocean eReferrals can send email alerts to inform patients who have provided their consent, about referral status changes, including when the referral was sent and received, appointment details, and other status changes. This enables the consulting physician to meet their CPSO requirements without additional effort or resources to contact the patient.

To get started with Ocean eReferrals in Ontario through the System Coordinated Access Program, contact SCAProgram@ehealthce.ca

About the eHealth Centre of Excellence’s System Coordinated Access Program
The System Coordinated Access Program and Think Research Consortium (Think Research, CognisantMD and The Centre for Effective Practice) have come together to improve access to patient care across the province through the delivery of secure, EMR-integrated electronic referrals from within the Ocean eReferral Network solution. This strategic partnership supports a collaborative and standardized approach to eReferral across multiple LHINs.

About the Ocean eReferral Network
The Ocean eReferral Network is an EMR-integrated technology solution for digital health referrals in Canada built by CognisantMD. The Ocean Platform is used by over 4000 healthcare providers and over 10,000 patients each day to improve healthcare communication and drive better patient care. To learn more about eReferrals on Ocean Platform, contact us at info@cognisantmd.com

About Think Research
Think Research is a leading provider of evidence-based clinical decision support tools with a focused mission: to organize the world’s health knowledge so everyone gets the best care. For over a decade, our cloud-based, digital tools have empowered clinicians around the world and have impacted millions of patients across all sectors of care: acute, primary, long term and community. We are proud to serve as a trusted health system partner to a rapidly growing client base that spans three continents and more than 2,000 healthcare facilities.