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Electronic Referrals (eReferrals)

Primary care providers and surgeons can now send electronic referrals for surgery, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and ultrasounds.


Nova Scotia launched electronic referrals (eReferrals) in 2023 to improve access to care and make the referral process better for patients and health care providers alike.

Rather than faxing, emailing, or mailing referrals directly to a specific surgeon or a Diagnostic Imaging (DI) site, primary care providers and surgeons can safely and securely send referrals within Nova Scotia’s eReferrals tool.

This helps reduce delays by preventing lost or incomplete referrals, or having referrals go to the wrong place or provider.

It also saves providers time as it makes referral options clear, keeps them up to date on their referrals, so they don’t have to chase them down, and allows them to refer patients to provincial teams who can match them up with the options that best fit their needs and wishes.

Patients can now be kept more up to speed, too. Patients who provide their email address are notified when their referral is sent, when there is an anticipated wait time, when an appointment is added, and more, giving them peace of mind that their referral – and their health – are being taken care of by Nova Scotia’s healthcare system.

To learn more, visit eReferrals for Patients

Photo of Mary Ellen Tingley

“My family doctor told me about a new eReferral service where I would receive notifications about my son’s referral status. I got an email confirming my son’s appointment the same day my doctor sent it. Within a couple of days, we had an appointment time. It was all very quick and gave me peace of mind that it was being handled. It worked like a charm.”                            

Mary Ellen Rainey, mother of IWK Health patient referred using eReferrals tool

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Minister Michelle Thompson

“Waiting for care is hard for patients and their families. It’s also frustrating for healthcare professionals when they don’t have the information to answer their patients’ questions. Nova Scotians deserve short wait times that will keep them out of pain and allow them to move on with their lives.

With electronic referrals, primary care providers and surgeons send their requests for surgical consultations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and ultrasounds through the eReferrals tool instead of faxing, emailing or mailing requests directly to a surgeon or diagnostic imaging (DI) site. This allows for better tracking, review and management of referrals, prevents lost referrals, improves communication with patients and providers, and, in time, will include better wait time information to allow patients to be connected to the fastest available options.”

Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness