Work underway to resolve urology referral issue

February 2, 2024

CALGARY – Due to an issue with a decommissioned fax line, some referrals for urology consults in the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS) were not received from Aug. 9, 2023, to Jan. 24, 2024.

In September 2022, Calgary Zone Urology joined Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST), a program for urology surgery that helps patients choose if they’d like to see the next available surgeon with the shortest wait time, or to see a specified surgeon, after they have received a referral from their primary care provider.

FAST streamlines the process for busy family doctors, who can send their referrals to one place rather than sending to multiple specialists.

Communication was provided to referring providers advising urology was joining and requesting they update the fax number to the new line. In August 2023, the legacy fax number was decommissioned, and any faxes sent to that line between Aug. 9, 2023, and Jan. 24, 2024, were not received.

AHS has taken immediate steps to investigate this issue and ensure referring providers are using the correct fax line. Referrals made to the decommissioned fax line could be retrieved between Jan. 2 and Jan. 24, 2024. AHS is working diligently with providers to identify any outstanding referrals. AHS apologizes for delays this may have caused in diagnosis and care.

Patients who have already been identified and impacted by the issue have been medically triaged and will be scheduled to see a urologist in order of urgency. AHS is continuing to follow up on referrals to ensure patients impacted are identified and prioritized for care. AHS is adding staff and physician resources to ensure these referrals are triaged as quickly as possible.

Patients who are concerned about the state of their urology referral made between Aug. 9 and Jan. 1 can call the Urology Referral Assistance Line at 1-877-720-0707 if they have questions or concerns. This notice does not apply to patients who have received confirmation that they are on the waitlist to see a urologist, or who have an appointment with a urologist already scheduled.