What is Central Intake?

The idea behind central intake is that all referrals are funneled into one place so that all people get access to care equally and more efficiently. Your referral is sent to the Central Intake Centre (CIC), where it is reviewed to make sure it is appropriate and complete. If a Rapid Access Clinic (RAC) is available for your condition, the referral is then assigned to a RAC located closest to your home address. If a RAC is not available for your condition, the referral is forwarded to an appropriate surgeon.

What is a Rapid Access Clinic (RAC)?

Rapid Access Clinics are a provincial initiative to ensure that patients get appropriate and faster access to care for musculoskeletal conditions.

At a Rapid Access Clinic an advanced care practitioner e.g. nurse practitioner, physiotherapist or chiropractor, who has had specialized training will assess your musculoskeletal condition and will determine the best care for you.

Regional Hip and Knee Program 

Everyone referred for possible hip or knee replacement is assessed by a specially trained nurse or physiotherapist. There are five Hip/Knee RAC’s within the Champlain LHIN: Cornwall Community Hospital, Hôpital Montfort, The Ottawa Hospital (Civic campus), Queensway Carleton Hospital and Pembroke Regional Hospital. You will be contacted to schedule an appointment.

Interprofessional Spine Assessment & Education Clinic (ISAEC) / Low Back Rapid Access Clinic 

The Interprofessional Spine Assessment & Education Clinic (ISAEC) – also known as the Low Back Rapid Access Clinic – is for patients with new onset low back and/or back related leg pain (e.g. sciatica) lasting over 6 weeks and less than 12 months. 

It provides specialized assessment, education, evidence based treatment recommendations, exercise prescription, medication review, and faster access to more testing or specialized referrals, including surgical consult, as needed.

You will be contacted to schedule an appointment with an advanced practice clinician based in the community, closest to your home address, and if further investigation/s or consultation is required as follow-up, you will also be seen at the Ottawa Hospital: Civic campus.

What Should I Ask my Doctor?

Your doctor will want to know your symptoms and medical history, and will conduct some initial physical tests in the office to prepare a probable diagnosis. 

The interactive infographics for the patient journey associated with MSK conditions like yours will help you formulate relevant questions for your doctor.

Access to Service and Coverage Information

You must have a valid Ontario Health Card (OHIP Card) in order to receive service. Exceptions to this include: Blue Cross military coverage and Nunavut patients seen through the Ottawa Health Services Network Incorporated (OHSNI). If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please contact the Central Intake Centre at 613-721-7890.

You must be referred by a physician or a nurse practitioner. A referral can also be obtained from a walk-in clinic or from the emergency room at a hospital. ISAEC patients can only be referred by a primary care physician or nurse practitioner.

Each RAC offers services in both official languages, English and French. If you have a preference, please let them know when they call to book your appointment. For ISAEC, this may affect the location where you will be seen. If you speak a language other than French or English, please either bring someone with you who can help to translate or inform the booking clerk when making an appointment so that we can make arrangements as needed.