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Central Intake for Outpatient MRI

The MRI service providers in the Ottawa Valley and Eastern Ontario have centralized the intake for outpatient MRI scan requests. The new Central Intake Program (CIP) coordinates access to MRI for Ontario outpatients seeking non-urgent MRI exams. 

How to make an outpatient referral

Patients must be referred to MRI by a physician. As of December 9, 2019, all outpatient MRI referrals must be submitted through the Central Intake Program using one of the methods described below.

Note: The process for submitting inpatient and emergency referrals to MRI services has not changed.

For physicians using referral forms (on paper or from your EMR)

There is a new regional requisition form and a new safety screening form for outpatient MRI requests. The new forms replace the hospital-specific forms that were previously in use.

The forms are also available for download to Telus (PS Suite), OSCAR, and Accuro (QHR) EMRs.

There is a new centralized fax number: 1-613-737-8944

For physicians using CPOE

Physicians ordering from within hospitals with computerized physician order entry (CPOE) should continue to use those systems. Sites with CPOE currently include:

  • The Ottawa Hospital
  • The Ottawa Hospital Academic Family Health Team
  • University of Ottawa Heart Institute
  • Hawkesbury and District General Hospital
  • Renfrew Victoria Hospital
  • Francis Memorial Hospital
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Cornwall Community Hospital

New eReferral option

The Ocean eReferral platform is available to create and submit requisitions directly from most community physician EMRs. If you already have access to Ocean, you can access the MRI outpatient referral by selecting “Eastern Ontario MRI Central Intake Program”.

Physicians and other clinicians who are interested in learning more about Ocean eReferral, can contact:

New decision support tools

In an effort to support leading practices and help optimize access to advanced imaging services, the region has released evidence-based imaging guidelines for MRI for patients presenting with headache and low-back pain. Decision support checklists for these types of MRI exams have been developed to accompany referrals for MRI in these categories.

What will happen to the referral once it is sent to Central Intake?

The Central Intake Program (CIP) will review submitted referral documents, checking for completeness and potential duplicate requests. Central Intake will then route the referral to one of the region’s MRI service providers, taking into account the individual requirements and preferences of the patient, and the queue lengths at the various MRI programs.

Routing decisions are based on a number of factors, including: patient age, the type of exam requested, the MRI locations that can provide that specific type of imaging, location of the patient’s residence, MRI site queue lengths, the patient’s preferred language, and any other patient preferences that are indicated on the referral form.

MRI sites will continue to contact the patient directly to confirm scheduled appointments. The MRI site that request is routed to will complete the exam and send reports back to the referring physician.

For patients who wish to receive services in French, Hôpital Montfort and Hawkesbury General Hospital are the only hospitals in the region guaranteeing services in French throughout the hospital.

Central Intake routes requisitions to the following hospitals: 

  • Pembroke Regional Hospital
  • Cornwall Community Hospital
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital
  • Hôpital Montfort
  • The Ottawa Hospital
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Hawkesbury General Hospital


Fax Number: 613-737-8944


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Last updated on: September 18th, 2020