News

Gynecology, spinal surgery join Specialist LINK

June 27, 2019

CALGARY -– One of the most-requested specialty services is among two new additions to Specialist LINK’s tele-advice line for Calgary-area physicians.

Gynecology has been at the top of family physicians’ wish lists in surveys and is now available, effective Tuesday, July 2, alongside spinal surgery. The new additions take the number of specialties or groups offering non-urgent advice to 20. Anesthesiology, Urology and Obstetric Internal Medicine were also added to Specialist LINK earlier this year. 

Requesting tele-advice is simple; doctors can either log on to www.specialistlink.ca and click on the relevant button (in this case gynecology or spinal surgery) or call 403.910.2551. Physicians can expect to receive a call-back within one hour.

Gynecology tele-advice is available for family physicians seeking non-urgent advice related to common problems including the following:

  • Early pregnancy concerns, including hyperemesis gravidarum and hypertension
  • Fibroids
  • Irregular menses
  • Interpreting imaging results
  • Menopausal symptoms, treatment
  • Menstrual disorders, including heavy bleeding and anemia
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Post-menopausal bleeding

Spinal surgery tele-advice, which is supported by both neurology and orthopedic surgery, is available for non-urgent advice related to the following:

  • Spinal cord compression, myelopathy
  • Radiculopathy secondary to spinal stenosis or herniated disc
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal deformity (scoliosis, kyphosis)
  • Tumours of the spinal column
  • Trauma -- fractures or ligamentous injury
  • Neurogenic clauducation/spinal stenosis
  • Spinal infection -- discitis/osteomyelitis/epidural abscess
  • Post-operative management questions (when the operating surgeon is unavailable)

The Specialist LINK tele-advice line has saved the health care system more than $1.2 million since it was launched in 2014. Physicians can access tele-advice at www.specialistlink.ca or request the service by phone. Click here to view the phone tree, which acts a quick reference guide to the services available and how to access them. The physician (or team member) requesting advice should leave a direct line or cellphone for the physician seeking a call from an anesthesiology specialist. The physician should also have the patient’s personal health number at hand.

Specialist LINK tele-advice* is available in the following areas:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Chronic pain
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Gynecology (beginning July 2, 2019)
  • Hepatology
  • Neurology
  • Nephrology
  • OB Internal Medicine
  • Palliative care
  • Pediatrics (Paedlink)
  • Podiatric Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Respirology
  • Rheumatology
  • Spinal Surgery (beginning July 2, 2019)
  • Sports Medicine
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery

*Click here to download a one-page quick reference guide to the specialty services available via Specialist LINK and eReferral Advice request.

In addition to offering tele-advice, www.specialistlink.ca is home to 22 pathways and other resources for family physicians. For any technical issues related to Specialist LINK, please call 587.774.9740 or email specialistlink@cfpcn.ca.

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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