“I love the thought of transforming the way we access health care,” says Jillian MacLean, a Central Intake nurse at IWK Health (IWK). “Improving access to health care for our patients in Nova Scotia is something I am excited to be involved with.”
The IWK worked closely with Nova Scotia Health (NSH) to launch a new single-entry intake model to support referrals to IWK and NSH surgeons. Known as eReferrals, the program allows referrals from around the province to be coordinated through a central office, rather than being sent directly to individual surgeons’ offices. This initiative aims to improve access to surgical care, help reduce wait times,and improve the overall experience for both providers and patients.
As the nurse within the IWK team, MacLean leads the central office in helping with complex referrals for all the surgical subspecialities.
“A big component of my role is working with the surgical teams and primary health providers in supporting the use of the new program, and I encourage health care professionals to embrace it,” says MacLean. “We are creating a new way to communicate more efficiently to allow providers and patients to have the information they need and truly be involved in the system.”
For patients, eReferrals will improve communication about referral status and offer more equitable access to services. It will also help reduce wait times and prioritize care through timely triage. For health providers, the consistent and complete referrals will lessen the administrative burden and offer up-to–date Central Intake and surgeon directories.
“In every area I have worked in at the IWK, I have seen true support and relationships made among staff and families,” says Maclean. “I see this work as a tool to keep pushing us into providing even better ways of caring for our patients and having them be a part of their care.”
“This program and initiative of working in a new world of health care is only getting bigger and I can’t wait to grow with it and keep pushing to the next steps. I love that I am a part of this from the beginning and can watch the change and be a part of making that change.”