Average Wait Times For Referring Physicians

Average wait times for October 1 to December 31, 2019
Posted February 12, 2020

Triage criteria, referral process, average wait times & contact info (contact information updated as available)

ATTENTION: All physicians in NSHA Central Zone

RE: Referrals to General Internal Medicine

March 18, 2020

Dear colleagues,

Due to our anticipation of an influx of inpatients with COVID-19 infections, the Division of General Internal Medicine will not be accepting non-urgent ambulatory referrals at this time given the urgent need to reallocate our workforce capacity to acute inpatient management. This will be re-evaluated on April 15, 2020 with high likelihood of a prolonged extension. We are also cancelling all non-urgent follow-up appointments.

Semi-urgent and urgent referrals will still be accepted. In order to reduce the risk of transmission, whenever possible non-face-to-face consultations will be undertaken. Please advise your patients that these assessments will be conducted virtually by phone or video visit unless it is certain that a physical examination would alter our recommendations.

We will continue to be available on call in the case that you require our urgent assistance. We will also be offering phone consultations for non-urgent referrals if you feel that specialist advice is required within the coming weeks. If you would like to arrange a phone consultation, please fax a request to 473-8430 with the referral question and your general availability. We ask that you please not page our on-call staff for non-emergent issues given that our limited capacity will be dedicated to the care of acutely ill inpatients.

Common indications for non-urgent referrals to our service include but are not limited to: chronic fatigue, asymptomatic lab abnormalities, palpitations without red flags, chest pain in young people with no risk factors or red flags, chronic stable anemia, hypertension, abdominal pain without red flags, and fatty liver. If a referral is received that we deem to be non-urgent, you will receive a notice from our office confirming that it will not be accepted at the present time.

Thank you for your collaboration and understanding.

The Division of General Internal Medicine

Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University