Revolutionizing Patient Care: Nova Scotia’s Strategic Move to eReferrals

Ocean News, Featured

The launch of Nova Scotia’s surgical eReferral program, powered by the Ocean platform, marks a significant milestone in improving patient care. Hear how visionary leadership and innovation are paving the way for a more efficient and patient-centered healthcare system.

In the pursuit of transformational change in healthcare, a combination of visionary leadership, courage, and collaboration are all required. The early success of Nova Scotia’s surgical eReferral program stands as a testament to this, and the power of a well-executed partnership. Under the forward-thinking guidance of Cindy Connolly, Director, Clinical Networks Perioperative & Surgical Services, and Dr. Greg Hirsch, Senior Medical Director of Perioperative (Surgical) Services Clinical Networks at Nova Scotia Health Authority, the program is already making significant strides.

Launched just over a month ago, the program, powered by the Ocean platform, has witnessed a successful adoption rate, with over 1500 eReferrals sent since the launch on April 1. This is a promising start, demonstrating the potential of a well-coordinated, efficient referral system.

Haley Gush, Senior Director of Client Success at OceanMD, reflected, “The initial success of the program is inspiring and validates the hard work and dedication invested by all stakeholders. We’re committed to improving patient experiences across Nova Scotia, and this is just the start of that journey.”

Key features and benefits of the Nova Scotia eReferrals program include:

  • A streamlined referral process through a centralized office, improving efficiency and coordination
  • A comprehensive directory of specialists within the eReferral portal, detailing location, wait times, and health services offered
  • Transparent referral status communicated to referring providers and patients through real-time email alerts
  • Alignment and consistency of information provided to specialists

The implementation of this single-entry access model for managing and coordinating referrals for surgical consults is a pivotal part of Nova Scotia Health’s multi-pronged approach to improve surgical access and quality. The focus is on increasing efficiency through data and electronic solutions, managing demand through provision of patient-centered care, building capacity for short- and long-term growth, and improving surgical outcomes.

The Ocean Provider Network eReferral platform, a proven tool with a history of success in Ontario, has demonstrated significant benefits in that province, including a 20% reduction in surgical wait times, a 12% reduction in unnecessary MRIs, and a 95% patient satisfaction rate, with patients reporting an improved healthcare experience with eReferrals. While still early in Nova Scotia, these metrics provide a promising outlook for the potential of what is to come as more pathways come on board.

At OceanMD, we are proud to be a part of this transformative journey, partnering with Nova Scotia Health, IWK Health, and the Department of Health and Wellness to play a constructive role in reducing wait times and improving access to care. The vision is clear: to provide equitable access to high-quality surgical care across Nova Scotia for all surgical procedures. The Ocean eReferral program is a significant step towards this goal, and we look forward to the continued growth and success of this initiative.

For more information about the program and its progress, visit You can also read more about the launch of the Ocean eReferrals in Nova Scotia from leading news organizations including The National, CBC, CTV and the Chronicle Herald.


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