Ontario’s First EMR-Integrated Patient eReferral Solution, Ocean by CognisantMD Launches at Cambridge Memorial Hospital

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eReferrals help improve patient access to diagnostic imaging in Waterloo region, replacing outdated faxes, saving time and improving communication between family physicians and specialists

eReferral Details Page in the Ocean Portal

The referring doctor can view a detailed copy of the referral, including the current booking status, at any time

...what makes it really transformative is that it allows me to check on the status of a referral and securely communicate back and forth with the diagnostic imaging department to clarify the patient's information and test procedures at any point.

CognisantMD and Cambridge Memorial Hospital announced today the availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians can now order MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, X-rays, mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient entry or an additional sign-in process.

This paperless process is helping to speed up the referral process while giving patients, referring physicians, and radiologists access to the most up-to-date details on the status of a referral. Until now, the region has relied on faxing and paper transmissions, which can be tedious for referring physicians to use, and often result in delays and miscommunications. The switch to secure eReferrals enables communication to occur in real-time, reducing the chance that a patient referral may "fall through the cracks" or result in a missed test appointment.

“CMH’s new eReferral system is extremely easy to use; I can send a requisition in just a few clicks from the patient record in our EMR, without logging in to a separate system,” said Dr. Keith Hankinson, Family Physician, Two Rivers Family Health Team. “By pre-populating the patient contact information as well as key details like renal function and weight, the whole referral process is extremely efficient. But what makes it really transformative is that it allows me to check on the status of a referral and securely communicate back and forth with the diagnostic imaging department to clarify the patient's information and test procedures at any point.”

When a requisition is submitted, the Ocean eReferral Platform automatically notifies the hospital diagnostic imaging department, allowing clerical staff to immediately respond to imaging requests. Any updates to the referral, such as bookings, cancellations, or new instructions trigger instant notifications to the referring clinic.

“Our team of administrative staff and radiologists worked closely with CognisantMD to design the electronic workflow on our end, resulting in a fast, streamlined, simple interface that minimizes the work necessary to review and protocol the requisitions,” said Dr. Winnie Lee, Site Lead Radiologist at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. “By making referrals faster to process and reducing the likelihood of incomplete referrals, we can improve access and ensure our patients are getting the services they need.”

eReferrals can be completed in one of three ways: through the Cambridge Memorial Hospital website, through the Oceanhealthlinks.ca directory, or directly from a physician’s EMR (TELUS PS Suite and OSCAR EMRs are currently supported).

“The eReferral platform makes it much easier to track tests and coordinate booking times with our patients. Since we started using eReferrals, our staff has noticed much less back-and-forth is needed with both the patient and the hospital,” said Deb Hedges, Program Administrator at Two Rivers Family Health Team. “Ultimately, it’s helping us to improve the patient experience while reducing administrative overhead.”

Physicians and clinics interested in completing secure, electronic referrals from their EMR can contact info@cognisantmd.com or visit    http://www.cognisantmd.com/cmh-ereferrals for more details and set-up instructions.

About CognisantMD
CognisantMD is the nation's leading provider of EMR-integrated patient engagement solutions. Using mobile devices and a cloud-based platform, Ocean allows patients to securely share health information for clinical use, administration and research. By adding Ocean Tablets and our large library of forms, patient questionnaires and clinical content to existing Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), the Ocean Platform provides a powerful way to connect patients to their physicians and beyond. For more information, visit http://www.cognisantmd.com.

About Cambridge Memorial Hospital
Cambridge Memorial Hospital is an acute care hospital with over 1,100 dedicated and skilled health care professionals, technologists and staff, 280 physicians and 400 volunteers providing exceptional care to the residents of Cambridge, the township of North Dumfries and the Region of Waterloo. For more information, visit http://www.cmh.org.

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Victoria Badgley
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