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Central Intake Program for Outpatient MRI

There is a new Central Intake Program (CIP) for requesting non-urgent MRI scans for outpatients.

MRI service providers in the Ottawa Valley and Eastern Ontario are asked to use the CIP as it better coordinates access to MRIs for these patients.

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

How to make an outpatient referral

All patients must be referred to MRI by a doctor. Doctors must submit all outpatient MRI referrals through the CIP using one of the methods described below.

Doctors at a location within the Atlas Alliance who can access the computerized physician order entry (CPOE) should continue to use EPIC to order MRIs.  The members of the Atlas Alliance are:

  • 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

For doctors who are not part of the Atlas Alliance

  • Please use the new regional requisition form and a new safety screening form for outpatient MRI requests. The new forms replace the old hospital-specific forms.
    • The forms are also available for download to Telus (PS Suite), OSCAR, and Accuro (QHR) EMRs.
  • Please use the new centralized fax number: 1-613-737-8944
  • The Ocean eReferral platform can 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”.

Doctors and other clinicians who want to learn 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. See the “Clinical Forms” section near the bottom of this page.

Once a referral is sent to Central Intake

  1. The CIP will review submitted referral documents, checking for completeness and potential duplicate requests.
  2. The CIP will route the referral to one of the region’s MRI service providers, considering the factors below.

Routing decisions are based on a number of factors, including:

  • the type of exam requested
  • the MRI locations that can provide the type of imaging requested
  • the wait time at a location
  • the patient’s age
  • where the patient lives
  • the patient’s preferred language
  • any other patient preferences that are indicated on the referral form

Note: MRI sites will continue to contact the patient directly to confirm scheduled appointments.

  1. The selected MRI site will complete the exam and send reports back to the referring doctor.

The CIP may route 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

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.

Patient privacy

Patients have privacy rights in Ontario. Below is a summary of patient rights

Patients have the right to

  • give us, refuse us, and change their consent for us to handle their personal health information for health-care reasons
  • ask to view their information we have about them and ask to have it corrected if it is out of date or inaccurate
  • ask questions or make a complaint about how we protect patient information and privacy

For more information about how The Ottawa Hospital and the CIP protect your privacy, please contact the Information and Privacy Office at 613-739-6668 or (please do not send personal health information by email).

Information system

The CIP maintains an information system that helps us manage MRI referrals from across the region. The following safeguards are in place at The Ottawa Hospital to help protect patient personal health information.

  • A group of hospital staff are responsible for making sure the hospital follows privacy and security policies
  • Staff sign confidentiality agreements
  • Staff receive privacy training and learn security best practices
  • The hospital follows privacy and security policies and procedures. The policies and procedures are reviewed regularly

Technical safeguards

  • The Ottawa Hospital encrypts information before sending it to the receiving hospital.
  • The Ottawa Hospital logs, monitors and audits the activities of everyone who uses the CIP system.
  • The Ottawa Hospital uses network security measures like firewalls, anti-malware and intrusion detection software.

Physical safeguards

  • The Ottawa Hospital uses environmental controls to protect against flooding, fire, power outages and other threats.
  • The Ottawa Hospital uses video monitoring and card reader access to detect and prevent unauthorized access.
  • The Ottawa Hospital securely disposes of media, equipment and hard drives.

For more information about how the CIP or The Ottawa Hospital protects your privacy please contact the privacy office at

Contact the CIP

Phone: 613-737-8883

Fax: 613-737-8944


Clinical forms

Memo archive

Information for

General information on Central Intake

Last updated on: June 27th, 2023