Referring to a Hip and Knee Clinic in Alberta

ABJHI Archive

Across the province hip and knee joint replacement clinics have agreed on the basic information required on a referral so the requirement is the same regardless of where the referral is sent. This prevents the patient from getting unnecessary testing such as a MRI and allows the hip and knee clinics to triage all the referrals based on the same information. The standardized triage process makes sure patients have been added to the most appropriate surgeon queue and aren’t waiting longer than required.

Some highlights of the requirements include:

X-Ray Report: Diagnosis and disease severity are important considerations during triage. Standard x-ray images ensure hip and knee triage staff have access to the radiology reports needed to appropriately triage patients. X-rays need to be attached to all referrals whether they are sent through eReferral or by fax.

BMI: Some surgeons specialize in high BMI patients. Providing height, weight and BMI on the referral ensures patients are waiting for the right surgeon.

Surgery Evaluation Acuity Tool: these questions are validated and assist in determining clinical urgency for hip and knee replacement. They support patient conversations about whether surgery is the most appropriate care option at this time or if other options should be considered. About 50% of all patients referred are not surgical candidates or do not want to proceed to surgery and could benefit from other care options.

Previous Surgery: Information about previous orthopedic surgeries informs triage staff of history with previous orthopedic surgeons.

Reason for Referral: Providing basic information such as primary reason for referral, primary affected joint, whether the patient has previously had a joint replacement done and whether the patient is a WCB patient ensures patients are added to the appropriate queue. Not all surgeons see both hip and knee patients or WCB patients.

Helpful hints for sending a referral for hip and knee joint replacement:

  • Review and Print the hip and knee replacement referral form HERE
  • Fax your referral to one of hip and knee clinics, located across Alberta
  • or Use eReferral through Alberta Netcare to submit your hip or knee replacement referral
  • Call someone if you need help with your eReferrals – your Alberta Netcare Transition Coordinator is available or call someone from the eReferral team 403-629-1739