Referral Coordination Program

The delivery of primary care services to patients has become increasingly complex over the last 20 years. Alberta’s growing and an aging population have created numerous pressure points in many areas of service delivery. Primary care providers and their staff identified referral coordination between family physicians, nurse practitioners, specialists, and other community health organizations to be an area of concern.

Family physician and nurse practitioner offices are finding it increasingly difficult to, among other issues, access appropriate services and expedite treatment through the health care system. They report a lack of access to information as well as long waiting periods for health assessments with specialists.

In order to help our member family physicians and their staff deal with these issues, the PCN developed the Referral Coordination Program in March 2010. Our team of Referral Coordinators works with our primary care providers and their staff to ensure patients move through the system as seamlessly as possible, with good quality care, from both within and outside the PCN.

The Referral Coordination team will:
• ensure complete referral packages are sent to the specialist including appropriate forms and investigations
• provide information on the referral process and status as needed to the patient, referring providers, and clinic staff
• use a referral database to create and track referrals to ensure appointments are scheduled and consult reports are sent to referral providers
• maintain a specialist catalogue to track wait times and referral processes