News

RAAPID support available for Calgary-area family doctors

April 11, 2019

CALGARY – Family doctors can now get RAAPID help for patients who need same-day care, as part of expanded specialist support services available in the Calgary area.

While non-urgent advice is available for an increasing number of specialties through Specialist LINK and eReferral Advice Requests, physicians can also call RAAPID for help with clinically stable patients with urgent medical conditions who need specialist consultation or a transfer within 24 hours.

The RAAPID South line –- 1-800-661-1700 and 403-944-4486 –- aims to provide a single point of contact for a seamless transition of care, reducing time and frustration for referring Calgary-area physicians. A quick-reference guide for physicians, to help them discern when to use RAAPID, Specialist LINK, eReferral and other support services, is now available at www.specialistlink.ca.

 “This is a game-changer for family physicians in the Calgary Zone. It means physicians can use RAAPID to access same-day specialist support for their patients via a one-stop shop, instead of calling around or sending patients to emergency,” said Dr. Rick Ward, Medical Director for Primary Care, Alberta Health Services. “The quick-reference support wheel at www.specialistlink.ca showcases the expanded support services available to family physicians. The addition of RAAPID gives doctors another tool in the tool box to ensure patients get the right care, at the right time.”

The RAAPID line is for patients who will likely require management in a tertiary care facility –- admission, procedure, investigation or in-person evaluation –- within 24 hours. Urgent calls are triaged to the most appropriate specialist. RAAPID will provide the family doctor with documentation of the consultation and confirmation of any patient referral. Patients are only transferred once a physician to physician conversation has taken place and an appropriate accepting physician has been identified. Family doctors calling RAAPID need to have the patient’s demographic information at hand.

“RAAPID has been simplifying the lives of rural physicians who are attempting to secure appropriate same day care for their patients for more than a decade.  We are excited to provide the same service to Calgary area family physicians.,” said Dr. Bruce MacLeod, Medical Advisor for Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, Alberta Health Services Medical Director, RAAPID South.

Visit the RAAPID website for more details. Family physicians with questions about RAAPID, or feedback on their experience using the service, can also contact DougM.Burke@albertahealthservices.ca.

Specialist LINK, a unique collaboration between the Calgary area’s Primary Care Networks, specialists and Alberta Health Services, includes a non-urgent tele-advice line, clinical care pathways and other resources. The team behind Specialist LINK is working closely with other service providers to provide family physicians with a consistent and seamless range of support services. The quick-reference support wheel at www.specialistlink.ca summarizes the support available to family physicians via 911, RAAPID, the Community Paramedic Program, Specialist LINK, eReferral Advice requests and regular referrals, which includes the Alberta Referral Directory. There are currently 16 tele-advice specialties available via Specialist LINK and 15 via eReferral Advice Request. Click here to review which specialties are available via each service.

“The RAAPID service is another good example of what can be achieved when specialty care and primary care work together to improve patient care,” said Dr. Ward. “Providing physicians with access to consistent support services is great news for patients and the health care system as a whole.”

About Specialist LINK
Specialist LINK was launched in 2014 as part of a collaboration between Calgary and area Primary Care Networks, specialists and Alberta Health Services. A non-urgent tele-advice line for family physicians is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for chronic pain), excluding statutory holidays. Call 403-910-2551 or toll-free at 1-844-962-5465. Calls are returned within one hour. Clinical care pathways are also available. Please visit www.specialistlink.ca for more details.


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