The central access and intake program for managing referrals, Alberta Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST), is now available across the province.
- FAST currently accepts referrals for orthopedic surgery and urology. Other specialties will be added over time.
- Note that in Edmonton Zone, urology referrals should continue to be submitted through eReferral and the existing Edmonton Zone FAST program continues to be the central intake for referrals to general surgery, plastics, ENT/otolaryngology, colposcopy and orthopedics.
- Referring providers can fax referrals for orthopedics and urology through a new 1-800 number per zone, or submit referrals through Alberta Netcare eReferral. They can choose between sending a referral to a next available provider with the shortest waitlist, a named provider or to an out-of-zone provider.
- Referring providers should use new referral pathways to understand what information is required with their referral.
- New provincial referral forms for orthopedics and urology are available in most Electronic Medical Records (EMR), with Telus – Wolf being added in May 2023. The new FAST urology referral form is also available online.
Provider Information: How to Use FAST
Benefits of the FAST Program
- Referrals are checked for completeness and accuracy before they are sent to you. This helps you triage the patient appropriately and prevents your staff from having to request this information to complete the referral.
- Referral requirements are the same across the province, ensuring the referral process is consistent and standardized regardless of where you’re located.
- Telephone and email support from the FAST team is available Monday to Friday.
- Data captured through the FAST office provides transparency into waitlists and insight into future surgical improvements.
- One provincial fax number saves you from having to remember or program hundreds of fax numbers.
- You can send referrals to a next available provider with the shortest waitlist, a named provider you or the patient chooses, or you can send an out-of-zone referral to a specialist in a different part of the province.
- Referral Pathways are available to let you know what information is required – like labs or diagnostic imaging, when sending a referral.
- On-call support from the FAST team is available to answer any referral questions.
- Communication as per CPSA standards is sent back to you that shares where the referral is.
- As the program rolls out, access to accurate wait time information for your Zone will become available.
- Accurate wait times that show you how long you might wait for surgical services.
- You can work with your referring provider to choose a next-available surgeon with the shortest waitlist, a named provider or an out-of-zone surgery.
- If you are on a waitlist, updates will be sent every 90 days with your referral status.
Providers and patients, share your referral and consultation experiences through an online survey. Learn more.