Priority for the urgent referral clinical pathway is given to the sickest patients, as these patients are top priority in the triage management system. Care for these patients is expedited in the following ways:
- Dedicated urgent GI clinics matched with urgent endoscopy times, which have been further enhanced with the addition of more physicians allowing for increased number of urgent GI endoscopy slates
- Direct-to-procedure (DTP) stream allows for 1-2 urgent patients to be seen per day
- Clinic and endoscopy templates have been altered to allow more flexibility for scheduling urgent patients
Referrals from the Emergency Department, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and urgent referrals received by fax from the community are prioritized. As a result of this focus, urgent wait times have significantly dropped from previous years and despite the increase in urgent referrals, have been maintained to a mean of less than 4 weeks to be seen in clinic; and less than 2 weeks for those triaged as extremely urgent.