Lori Moran, eHealth Centres of Excellence, Based out of the eHealth Centre of Excellence in Waterloo, Ontario – the System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program is supporting patients and clinicians with processes and technology to enable more appropriate referrals and faster access to health care services. As part of this work, an Innovation Procurement process was used to select an Ontario based vendor consortium to design and implement an electronic referral (eReferral) solution for the Waterloo-Wellington region. Following the successful completion of a Proof of Concept phase, which included an evaluation by a third-party consultant, the decision was made to move forward with expansion of the eReferral solution. With this decision in place, seven other LHINs which were listed on the RFP had the option to expand the eReferral solution into their local areas without additional procurement in a relatively accelerated and coordinated manner. Recognizing this as an opportunity to support the key priority of reducing wait times for specialist care, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided one-time, multi-year funding to the SCA Program to support the roll out of eReferral in two separate streams across eight LHINs.
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