Health equipment loans now need referrals

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 51 , No. 2 , March 2009 , Pages 84 News

As of this month, patients need a referral from a health care professional for all Red Cross loans of basic bathroom, mobility, and daily living aids.

The Red Cross has determined that clients are safer when using equipment that has been prescribed by a health care professional. Many patient safety advocacy groups believe that proper assessment is a critical part of effective patient care, and while individuals may know their own needs, they are less likely to be aware of safety hazards associated with various pieces of equipment.

Physicians are asked to complete a written referral when sending patients to the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program for basic equipment. In some cases a referral from an occupational therapist or physiotherapist is required for specialized equipment.

Referrals can be faxed to your local Red Cross office. Referral in­formation can also be taken over the phone by Red Cross volunteers and, for the convenience of health care professionals, referral pads are available through Red Cross offices. This referral policy is in place in every other province across Canada in which the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program operates. 

For more information pertaining to the referral policy please contact your local Health Equipment Loan Program. Lists of locations of the Red Cross short-term Health Equipment Loan Program are available, by region, online at

. Health equipment loans now need referrals. BCMJ, Vol. 51, No. 2, March, 2009, Page(s) 84 - News.

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