What is a Central Intake?

Note for Ontario Users: In Ontario, Ocean eConsults are currently in a limited release. For more information on eConsult in Ontario as part of the Ontario eServices Program, please review the Overview of eConsults in Ontario article.

What is a Central Intake?

A Central Intake is a special type of Ocean site that is used to coordinate referrals and make best use of a geographical region's resources. This special site configuration allows the Central Intake users to remain as stakeholders on the referrals, and see the status update as the referral is continued to be processed downstream. Healthcare providers within the region can choose to route their referrals to a Central Intake rather than referring directly to a specific service provider.

The Central Intake site can ensure completeness of the referral, transcribe faxed referrals, triage referrals, and manage other administrative aspects. They may forward the referral to an Assessment Center for additional investigation, or directly to another healthcare service provider who delivers the referred service.

What makes a Central Intake site unique?

Since the primary purpose of a Central Intake is to manage referrals within a region, there are unique functionalities that have been created in Ocean to assist with their workflows.

Directory Listing Configuration

Central Intake sites have unique Directory Listings that are specifically configured by CognisantMD. If you are interested in having your Directory Listing configured to be a Central Intake listing, please submit a ticket to our support team.

Forward Button

  • Once configured as a Central Intake site by CognisantMD, a 'Forward' button will appear in each referral received.
  • This provides Central Intake users with the ability to forward the referral to the appropriate service provider.

Forwarded Folders

  • Central Intake sites gain access to the 'Forwarded (New)' folder in the eReferrals area.
  • The 'Forwarded (New)' folder contains referrals that have been electronically forwarded by the Central Intake and are now waiting in the 'New' folder of the recipient site.

Processed Button

  • Once a referral has been marked as 'Booked' or 'Completed' by a recipient site (in the case of electronic forwarding), or has an appointment added to the Scheduling pane by the Central Intake site (in the case of manual forwarding), Central Intake users can then use the 'Processed' button within the referral.
  • This moves the referral into the 'Completed' folder for the Central Intake site, while keeping it in the existing folder for other referral stakeholders.

How do Central Intake sites receive referrals?

Central Intake sites receive referrals by either having referring providers send them directly to their Central Intake Listing on the Ocean Healthmap, or by having recipient sites automatically redirect their inbound referrals to the Central Intake Listing. Central Intake sites can also receive manually faxed referrals, and transcribe them into Ocean to take advantage of the digital functionalities.

  • The image on the right is an example of a Central Intake listing on the Ocean Healthmap which a referring provider could directly send to.
  • Referral recipient sites who would like to automatically redirect their referrals to a Central Intake can select the appropriate Central Intake site by searching for it in the 'Central Intake Listing' field within their own Directory Listing settings.

Central Intake Processes

Please expand the appropriate tab below for information on the different processes that Central Intake sites use to forward referrals.

Electronically Forwarding a Referral

The steps below can be used by Central Intake sites when they are forwarding a referral to a healthcare provider that is accepting eReferrals through the Ocean platform.

  • Locate the relevant referral within the 'New' folder, and click on it to open it.
  • Optional: Within the Notes area, click the speech bubble icon, and select 'Review...' to open the review form.

  • Optional: Complete the review form, and press 'Save' to stamp the note into the 'Notes' pane of the referral.

  • Use the 'Forward' button at the bottom of the referral to forward the referral.
  • Select or search for the desired referral recipient with a green icon. The green icon indicates that they are accepting eReferrals.
  • Review the recipient's listing information, and press 'Forward Referral' when ready.
  • The forwarded referral can now be found in your 'Forwarded (New)' folder, with a green arrow indicating that it was electronically forwarded to the recipient site.

    If the recipient site accepts the referral, it will move into the 'Pending Booking' folder.

    When the recipient site books an appointment for the referral, it will move into the appropriate 'Booked Unconfirmed' or 'Booked Confirmed' folder.

    If desired, the Central Intake site can mark a referral as 'Processed' once an appointment has been booked, moving it into the 'Completed' folder for only the Central Intake site.

Manually Forwarding a Referral

The steps below can be used by Central Intake sites when they are forwarding a referral to a healthcare provider that is not accepting eReferrals through the Ocean platform.

This involves manually faxing the referral outside of the Ocean platform, and simply updating the status within Ocean on behalf of the true referral recipient.

  • Locate the relevant referral within the 'New' folder, and click on it to open it.
  • Optional: Within the Notes area, click the speech bubble icon, and select 'Review...' to open the review form.

  • Optional: Complete the review form, and press 'Save' to stamp the note into the 'Notes' pane of the referral.

  • Use the 'Forward' button at the bottom of the referral to forward the referral.
  • Select or search for the desired referral recipient with a grey icon. The grey icon indicates that they are not currently accepting eReferrals.
  • Review the recipient's listing information, and press 'Print Referral' to obtain a printable file of the referral.
  • Print the file and manually fax the referral to the recipient using a fax machine.
  • Use the confirmation checkbox in Ocean to confirm that you have manually forwarded the referral to the recipient.
  • Press 'Forward Referral' to complete the process.
  • The referral is moved to the 'Pending Booking' folder, with a grey arrow indicating that it has been manually forwarded.

    Since the referral was manually forwarded to the recipient, the Central Intake site maintains the responsibility to update the referral and appointment scheduling information within Ocean.

  • If desired, the Central Intake site can use the 'Processed' button to move the referral to the 'Completed' for only the Central Intake site.
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