How can I refer a patient to the FAST program?

Question: How do I refer a patient to the Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST) program?

Context: As part of the Alberta Surgical Initiative (ASI), a central access and intake program called Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST) has been implemented across Alberta. The FAST program is responsible for reviewing referrals for completeness and assigning them to a next available provider with the shortest waitlist, a specific provider, clinic or site, or an out-of-zone provider. 

Not all specialties have implemented FAST. Previously, a customized FAST referral order was available for each relevant specialty. Now, to both accommodate a growing number of specialties using FAST and reduce confusion, FAST referrals are placed via the standard specialty-specific referral order. If that specialty uses FAST, a question will be available in the order where the prescriber can indicate that the referral should be directed to FAST and include any FAST specialty-specific questions that may need to be answered. 

Answer: To submit a FAST referral, search for the standard specialty-specific referral order (e.g., "Referral to Orthopedics"), and then add a specialty reason of FAST. Searching for "FAST" referral orders will bring up specialties that are FAST-eligible.