eHealth Centre of Excellence

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The Waterloo Wellington Regional Coordination Centre (RCC) is a valued partner of the eHealth Centre of Excellence, and we’re delighted to share that they have recently reached a significant milestone – on May 16, they celebrated the one year anniversary of the launch of their Orthopedic Central Intake (OCI)!

What is OCI?


“OCI offers a consistent regional approach for primary care providers and nurse practitioners making referrals to orthopedic specialists,” explains Cheryl Hambly, Referral Administrator at the RCC. “They fax their referral to us, and we take over from there.”


OCI’s referral process is based on the success of RCC’s Diabetes Central Intake (DCI), which was established in 2011 by the RCC, hosted by Langs Community Health Centre.


Here’s how it works: when a referral is faxed to the OCI, the referral administrators will first check the referral to make sure it is complete and has the proper imaging and/or documentation that any given specialist may require. The referral administrators will then enter it in a database and direct the referral to the orthopedic specialist who is most appropriate depending on the problem area identified by the primary care provider and proximity to the patient.


Having one centralized location to send referrals means that there are fewer duplicate referrals and less referrals getting lost in the system. Clinicians and patients using the service have also expressed that they appreciate being able to call in to check on the status of their referral. “That’s part of what makes the job satisfying,” says Cheryl. “It’s nice to be the voice on the other end of the phone when they need updates or have any questions about the process.”

And word on the OCI seems to be spreading: Cheryl notes that they get new primary care providers signing up every week!


OCI is currently working with the eCE System Coordinated Access (SCA) program to move from a fax-based system to the Ocean electronic referral system, which is expected to be launched in the very near future.


If you are interested in learning more about OCI, please contact the RCC at:



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Hannele Kivinen
January 11, 2022
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