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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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Hannele Kivinen
January 11, 2022
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