Referring Patients to Emergency Departments & Urgent Care

May 08, 2023 |
Standard of Practice Quality
This is Part 1 of guidance to the profession on collaborative care regarding the referral of patients to emergency or urgent care. Read Part 2 - Receiving and Discharging Patients to and from Emergency Departments & Urgent Care.


Concerns have recently been raised to CPSM regarding the transfer of patients to emergency and urgent care departments.  


Clear and accurate communication is essential for providing the best possible care to patients. The referring physician plays a crucial role in this process, as they are often the first point of contact for patients and the ones responsible for coordinating referrals to emergency and urgent care.  


The Standard of Practice – Collaborative Care (the Standard) outlines the expectations of a referring physician 


If you are referring a patient to an emergency department or urgent care, you must phone the emergency or urgent care physician to communicate pertinent information and confirm they accept care  


Sec. 2. of the Standard states: 

In the case of a referral for emergency care, the registrant must discuss the referral with the consultant or the emergency physician (if a referral to an emergency department is being made) or otherwise ensure acceptance of care by the consultant or service. 


Physicians share the responsibility of providing coordinated and comprehensive care to patients. By working collaboratively, we can improve patient health outcomes and provide the best possible care to those we serve. 


View the Standard of Practice – Collaborative Care here