Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST) Program: Centralized Referrals

Alberta Surgical Initiative

Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST) is a central access and intake program that receives surgical referrals. FAST currently accepts referrals for vascular surgery, orthopedic surgery and urology*. Other specialties will be added over time.

*Note that in Edmonton Zone, urology referrals should continue to be submitted through eReferral and the existing Edmonton Zone FAST program continues to be the central intake for referrals to general surgery, plastics, ENT/otolaryngology, colposcopy and orthopedics.

  • Referring providers can fax referrals for orthopedics and urology (and vascular surgery soon) through a new fax number per zone, or submit referrals through Alberta Netcare eReferral. They can choose between sending a referral to a next available provider with the shortest wait time, a named provider/clinic/site or to an out-of-zone provider.
  • Referring providers should use new clinical and referral pathways to support patient care and to know what information is needed if a referral is required.
  • New provincial referral forms for orthopedics and urology are available in most Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and will be added for vascular surgery in 2024.

Contact FAST via telephone* at 1-833-553-3278 (FAST)

*For referring provider and medical staff only. If you are a patient, please contact your primary care/referring provider directly for referral information, as FAST cannot answer any referral questions.

Benefits of the FAST Program

Specialists

  • Referrals are checked for completeness and accuracy before they are sent to you. This helps you triage the patient appropriately and prevents your staff from having to request this information to complete the referral.
  • Referral requirements are the same across the province, ensuring the referral process is consistent and standardized regardless of where you’re located.
  • Telephone and email support from the FAST team is available Monday to Friday.
  • Data captured through the FAST office provides transparency into waitlists and insight into future surgical improvements.

Referring Providers

  • You can send referrals to a next available provider with the shortest wait time, a named provider/clinic/site, or you can send an out-of-zone referral to a specialist in a different part of the province.
  • Referral Pathways are available to let you know what information is required – like labs or diagnostic imaging, when sending a referral.
  • Support from the FAST team is available Monday – Friday to answer any referral questions.
  • Communication as per CPSA standards is sent back to you that shares where the referral is.
  • As the program rolls out, access to accurate wait time information for your Zone will become available.

Patients

  • You can work with your referring provider to choose a next-available surgeon with the shortest wait time, a named provider/clinic/site or an out-of-zone surgery.
  • If you are on a waitlist, updates will be sent every 90 days with your referral status.

Provider Information: How to Use FAST

Questions About Fast?

Email abfast@ahs.ca with your questions.