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One Year Live on eReferral!

On August 14, the Waterloo Wellington System Coordinated Access team marked a significant milestone—the one year anniversary of eReferral going live in the Waterloo Wellington region.


The initial launch of the eReferral solution was part of a proof of concept, which allowed providers to refer into Orthopedic Central Intake, Diabetes Central Intake and a number of diabetes education programs across the region. Since the initial launch, the eReferral program has expanded to four additional LHINs (Champlain, ESC, NE and SE) and seen significant expansion in WW with the onboarding of many new eReferral destinations, including all hospitals diagnostic imaging departments across the region, three orthopedic assessment centres and an ever-growing list of specialists and specialty services, which can be accessed at by clicking here.


Since going live in Waterloo Wellington...

  • 7,500 eReferrals have been sent to 90 referral targets! These referrals were sent by over 220 unique referrers in our region
  • The Waterloo Wellington Regional Coordination Centre has processed over 1,500 eReferrals through their Diabetes and Orthopedic Central Intake Service
  • Wait time data shows that the wait 1 for orthopedic referrals has decreased by a mean of 21 days and 59 days for knee and hip, respectively
  • After the introduction of imaging guidelines, the number of pre-consult MRIs ordered (which are not needed for knee osteoarthritis) went from 34% in early 2017 to 21.8% in early 2018, a 12% reduction
  • Users have reported a decrease in the number of incomplete referrals received as well as promising efficiencies in their workflow when using the eReferral system. This has resulted in time savings of up to nine days when compared to the traditional paper-fax referral process.
  • When the referral is complex, the time to send the referral by physicians (including data entry) was reduced using eReferral by almost three minutes (37.5% less)


eReferral Expansion is Underway


In addition to the work happening in Waterloo Wellington, four expansions LHINs (Champlain, ESC, NE and SE) have made significant steps towards implementing eReferral to support their respective MSK pathways. The NE LHIN was the first to go live with a limited release of the eReferral solution on August 14, 2018 with plans to gradually increase adoption over the next several months. The other three LHINs (Champlain, SE and ESC) are scheduled to go live in the coming months. The teams have been hard at work engaging their stakeholders and finalizing processes in preparation for launch. In addition to MSK, all four expansion LHINs, with the support of the SCA Program, have initiated discovery work to inform the early stages of planning for diagnostic imaging (DI) eReferral, which will build off the DI deployment underway in WW.


What a year! Congratulations to the entire System Coordinated Access team and our partners for the impressive accomplishments to date!



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Virtual Visits: providing new ways to connect with patients

Since its launch in March 2018, a total of 40 primary care physicians have been registered for the virtual visits platform, VirtualCare!


The innovative solution offers new ways for providers to securely communicate with patients via chat messaging, phone or video call. Close to 1600 patients in Waterloo Wellington have been registered so far and over 1100 visits have been completed. Using the website or mobile app, patients can send a message or request a virtual appointment with their primary care provider to renew a prescription, discuss chronic condition(s) or new health issue/symptoms, and for health education among other reasons.


What does usage look like to date?



of virtual visits were initiated by primary care providers to follow-up on previous in-person appointments, discuss lab results and medication. 



of all virtual visits completed were conducted via chat messaging or phone call.



The year-long Proof of Concept, in partnership with the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), will be rolled out to additional physicians and nurse practitioners across the Waterloo Wellington LHIN by the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE), with the hopes of increasing capacity in primary care practices and improving the patient and provider experience.


Physicians participating in VirtualCare describe it as a user-friendly platform that allows them to easily answer questions and "see" patients for appropriate concerns, without them having to come into the clinic,  saving them both time and resources.


Some of the latest VirtualCare features:

  • Patient self-registration
  • Patient and Provider mobile app
  • New role for NP’s and Delegates


If you are interested in signing up for virtual visits or looking for more information, please contact Meghan Brenner-Burgoyne ( 


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cSWO August 2018 Update



Please click here to download the PDF.

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Upcoming webinar for osteoporosis EMR tool

Coming up on Tuesday, August 28 from 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, the QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) team will be hosting a webinar with guest speakers Dr. Upe Mehan & Kate Harvey on how to use QBIC's new osteoporosis tool for primary care electronic medical records (EMRs).


For more on this tool, click here!



Registration link:


Webinar details: Tuesday, August 28th 11:30 – 12:30



                 1-855-392-2520      -     Access Code: 9319738


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eConsult notice: Increased access to specialists through eConsult



Please click here to download the PDF.


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Our Health Links case studies featured on HQO's Quorum site

Last year, the eHealth Centre of Excellence partnered with the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) to conduct an evaluation on the benefits of the Health Links Approach to Care within its sub-regions through a series of case studies.


These case studies are available here!



We are delighted to share that this work was recently featured on Health Quality Ontario (HQO)'s Quorum site!


Click here to read the post.


What is Quorum and why should you sign up?


Quorum is a free open online community dedicated to improving the quality of health care in Ontario – together. It is a forum where members can collaborate to learn from each other, share experiences, and support innovation from idea inception through to meaningful improvement. For more information, please click here.


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cSWO July 2018 update



Please click here to download the PDF.


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Kidney Talks, Achieving Excellence Together & Hacking Health Café

It’s conference season! In addition to eHealth 2018 and WWCRQI, the eHealth Centre of Excellence has participated in a number of other events that recently.


Kidney Talks 2018

eHealth Centre of Excellence Managing Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia (pictured left) gave a presentation at Kidney Talks 2018, hosted by the Ontario Renal Network (ORN), and spoke about how the Kidney Wise toolkit is now available in a format that can be integrated with primary care electronic medical records (EMRs). For more information on this tool, take a look at the QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) catalogue!

Achieving Excellence Together 2018

eHealth Centre of Excellence team members Allie Piatkowski and Lori-Anne Huebner participated in a Health Links panel that highlighted different types of Health Links evaluations in Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) across the province. Their presentation focused on the evaluation that they had completed on the Health Links approach to care in the Waterloo Wellington LHIN, to understand how it is impacting patients and care providers. To take a look at their Health Links case studies, please click here.


Hacking Health Café

As part of Communitech’s Peer2Peer Network, Hacking Health Waterloo provides a forum where technology creators and health care professionals can connect to discuss and collaborate on issues with the hopes of improving health care in Waterloo Region. To help foster this collaboration among the digital health community, Hacking Health Cafés are held monthly across various locations in the region.


The eHealth Centre of Excellence was invited to the June Hacking Health Café to present on the Waterloo Wellington VirtualCare pilot program, and QBIC team members Meghan Brenner-

Burgoyne (pictured below, left) and Sara Di Gregorio provided an overview and background of the project, as well as a live demonstration of the VirtualCare platform. The audience was heavily engaged and the presentation yielded many great questions that sparked some interesting discussion – it was a pleasure to meet and network with this diverse group of professionals and we hope to join another Hacking Health Café again in the future!




We’re always looking for more opportunities to share knowledge and spread the word on the digital health services available (or coming soon).


For more information, please feel free to explore our website or contact





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cSWO June 2018 update



Please click here to download the PDF.


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New: KW4 newsletter for primary care

Calling all primary care providers in Waterloo Wellington: stay connected with the primary care newsletter!


This is the start of a communication network for all primary care providers (family physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants) within the Kitchener-Waterloo-Wilmot-Wellesley-Woolwich (KW4) area to provide important information about health services, referral processes, practice opportunities, and professional development.


Pertinent and succinct information, curated and edited by family physicians, will be disseminated via a bi-monthly newsletter. 


Contributors include:

  • eHealth Centre of Excellence
  • McMaster University
  • Health Force Ontario
  • KW Chamber of Commerce
  • Waterloo Region Public Health

To start receiving the KW4 Primary Care Newsletter, please click here to register. 

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