Three years ago, we began our journey to help replace outdated, fax-and-paper-based healthcare referrals with a secure, electronic alternative. We were confident that Ocean eRequests and eReferrals could help to significantly improve patient care by streamlining clinician referrals and patient self-referrals, making it faster and easier to connect patients with the services, supports and care they need.
Today, we’re thrilled to see that vision coming to fruition as we celebrate these major milestones on the Ocean eReferral Network:
- Over 120,000 eRequests and eReferrals have been submitted on the Ocean Platform.
- Clinician-initiated eReferrals continue to increase by ~30% per month and have doubled in the past 4 months alone.
- Ocean’s dynamic, map-based directory of healthcare specialists now provides listings for almost 50,000 specialists and healthcare services, including the most up-to-date information from Ontario’s Provincial Provider Registry (PPR), the authoritative source of information for health profession data and health care service delivery locations in the province.
- Ocean can now display real-time calculated wait times in addition to reported wait times.
- Ocean now offers one-click or at-a-glance access to the status of a patient’s eReferral in Accuro, Telus PS Suite, and Oscar EMRs.
We’re also thrilled to share that the System Coordinated Access eReferral Program has now expanded use of the Ocean eReferral Network beyond Waterloo Wellington with soft launches in both the North East and Erie St. Clair LHINs, and more to come.
Our developers are working hard to introduce new features to improve the workflow for sending and receiving eRequests and healthcare eReferrals. Here’s a quick overview of some of the things you can expect to see over the next few months:
Listing by Service Catchment Area on the Ocean Healthmap: Some providers such as palliative care doctors and home care workers provide support to patients living in specific regions. Ocean allows such providers to draw their service areas on a map, making it easy for primary care clinicians to find the appropriate service provider for their patient using the patient’s home address in the EMR.
Improved Wait Time Reporting: Service providers can share their wait times using two different methods: they can manually update the listing with their own estimates, or Ocean can calculate it for them based on their referral history, informed by the appointments booked in the EMR. Ocean also supports common wait time exclusion criteria so that calculated wait times are not affected by declined appointments or the inability to get in touch with a patient.
Expanded Personalized User Preferences: With a free Ocean account, providers will be given more options to customize favourites and commonly-used resources in the Ocean Healthmap, making it faster and easier to find the specialists and services they use most.
eConsults: With the release of the Ocean eConsult module, clinicians can send a secure message to a specialist and receive a timely response. If a referral is required, details from the eConsult can be seamlessly converted into an eReferral including booking functionality.
We look forward to watching the Ocean eReferral Network continue to grow over the coming months, to serve our community of healthcare providers and patients better. Stay tuned for more news and updates!