At Alberta Health Services (AHS), the provincial system of record for health referral information is the Alberta Referral Directory (ARD). The ARD was developed through a partnership with the Alberta Medical Association, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, to ease the complexities of the referral process. The ARD is a secure, online directory that provides access to service and consultant (physician) demographics, referral guidelines, referral forms and detailed instructions to efficiently and effectively facilitate referral acceptance without delay.
The ARD centralizes referral information for consulting physicians and ambulatory services, avoiding the need to publish referral information in multiple places. Since the ARD is web-based, it avoids the inherent safety issues with paper-based referral directories as information in ARD is updated in real time. An added feature is the ability to print details related to the location, amenities and appointment processes that are relevant to the patient.
SENDERS of Referrals: Any health care providers that are sending referrals should use the ARD to access the most up-to-date, accurate referral information for a consultant and/or service.
RECEIVERS of Referrals: Any consultants and/or services in Alberta who are receiving referrals should be listed in the ARD. We encourage non-AHS services to be included. Consultants can attach to multiple clinics that they are associated with.
* Patients and families should contact Health Link by dialing 811 for all health related advice.
Basic physician details in the ARD originate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) and the Alberta Health Provider Registry.
Service information originates from Inform Alberta (IA) and each service listed has the following information:
Reasons for referral including the required tests and investigations by reason for referral
Having all referral information in a single, online source makes finding and selecting the right consultant and/or service easier. This means less delays and frustration for both you and your patient. Creating a complete and appropriate referral is facilitated in ARD with reasons for referral outlined by each receiving consultant and/or service, which allows them to process the referral within the communication targets as outlined in the Referral Consultation Standards of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Once a consultant and/or service has been selected, a print-out of important patient-facing service information including directions, parking instructions and appointment guidelines can be given to the patient. Keeping the patient informed means less time spent answering navigational phone calls and patients come to their appointments prepared and “on time”.
Need help using the Alberta Referral Directory?
To have your service listed in the ARD, complete the service submission form.