Central Triage and Access
The Division of GI instituted a single point of entry model (SEM) or central triage to process all referrals in 2007. This is a strategy aimed to:
- Allow for accurate wait-times measurement
- Improve access to care
We receive approximately 1100 referrals each month and wait-times currently for routine GI concerns exceed 18 months. This makes timely care a challenge, and our priority continues to be excellence in clinical care with improved access.
In 2006, the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Wait Times Consensus Group published maximal medically appropriate wait times for twenty-four key areas of gastroenterology, stratified by acuity (Divisional Triage Guidelines). However, wait times to see a gastroenterologist are not only in excess of these guidelines, but are increasing, evident in the most recent SAGE survey (2012).
The team in Central Triage is comprised of nurses, physicians and clerks who work together to process referrals and allocate priority quickly, so that we consistently ensure those patients who need care urgently are seen first. There now are 25 physicians with many different areas of expertise and interest who participate within central triage in luminal gastroenterology, and all the hepatologists in the city (10) also accept referrals through Central Access and Triage (CAT).
Gastroenterology is currently working with Alberta Health Services to improve access through improvements in the referral process (Closed Loop Referral Management Program). The aim of this collaboration is to improve appropriateness and enhance capacity within primary care, and to improve flow between primary and specialty care through a standardized referral process.
Currently, there is no standardized process. There is a provincial referral form for GI, however we accept all forms of referral (letters, central access form, EMR printouts). Please fax
We have a list of mandatory investigations for common indications, which helps to allocate appropriate priority to these referrals for consultation.