eReferral not the solution for urgent referrals (Referral Consultation)

Dina Baras Are You Up to Standard?, Messenger

For Alberta Netcare users, eReferral offers a convenient way to track and manage referrals. However, it’s not a solution for urgent referrals.

Urgency is determined by the patient’s clinical presentation − if the patient can reasonably be expected to suffer harm without timely (measured in hours to days) review by a consultant or specialist, the referral is urgent.

When in doubt, pick up the phone

  • Physicians who refer for an urgent or emergency consultation are expected to call the consultant or emergency service directly.
  • If a consultant or specialist deems a routine referral urgent, it must be handled the same way – with a phone call back to the referring physician.

eReferral “Advice” function is not meant to facilitate urgent referrals

  • A physician can use the Advice function to ask whether a referral is needed, and will generally receive a response within 5 days.
  • The consultant may ask for additional information or submit a referral request on behalf of the referring physician, but the Advice function should not be used to communicate that a routine referral has been triaged as urgent. Urgent referrals require a phone call back to the referring physician, as noted above.

eReferral requests must meet Referral Consultation timelines

  • A consultant who receives a request for referral (not advice) via eReferral must meet the same 7-day acknowledgement of receipt and 14-day decision to accept or deny the request as would apply if the referral were received any other way.

Refer to the Referral Consultation Advice to the Profession document for more information.

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