eHealth Centre of Excellence

Electronic Referral (eReferral)


What is an eReferral?

Electronic eReferral (eReferral) simplifies the referral process by enhancing communication between primary care providers and specialists/organizations and enabling quick and secure referrals to be sent and received through an electronic platform. 

The eHealth Centre of Excellence is supporting the development and adoption of coordinated access and eReferral in Ontario. 

Working closely with the Think Research Consortium and other system and community partners, our team is developing an integrated end-to-end electronic referral strategy focused on connecting providers to available specialists and programs while improving communication between providers and patients. 

One of our goals is to leverage innovative technology solutions to create referral solutions across the province. Currently, this particular solution is based on CognisantMD’s Ocean platform.

Getting started with eReferral

Current eReferral destinations

Case studies


Technical support for Ocean

Through our eReferral program, there have been over 100,000 eReferrals processed using Ocean eReferral across the province since deployment kicked off in August 2017!

(As of January 31, 2020)

Ocean eReferral

Benefits of using Ocean eReferral:


For primary care providers

Integration with most electronic medical record (EMRs), so you can send referrals quickly and directly

Standardized referral forms are updated automatically with pre-populated information from your EMR

Referral status updates within your EMR

A map-based directory of available services and programs, complete with wait times where available

For referral recipients

Customized eReferral forms ensure that you receive complete referrals, eliminating the need to request additional information from the referrer

eReferral forms include integrated clinical guidelines to support best practices, e.g. when it’s clinically appropriate to request an X-ray versus MRI

Administrative tasks are lessened, such as the need to make follow-up phone calls

For patients

Patients can choose to receive email notifications with referral status so they can track their referral from start to completion

They can receive appointment instructions via email (i.e., do not eat two hours prior to appointment)

Patients can confirm appointments directly from the email notifications




If you are interested in using Ocean eReferral, please fill out this quick form to get started!

For program inquiries, please email us at:

Thank you to our partners:

Think Research