Authorized Prescriber Guideline FAQs

We are pleased to announce the rollout of the application process for Physiotherapists in private/community practice to become authorized prescribers for plain view radiographs (x-rays).  Beginning May 28th, physiotherapists licensed to practice in Nova Scotia may now opt in through a simple online application process available through their online portal and renew this authorization annually. The Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapist (NSCP) guideline and the FAQs below, are designed to facilitate smooth access to this service for both you and your patients.  

How do I register to request diagnostic imaging?

To be added to the authorized prescriber list, login to your online portal at the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists and complete an online application form.

Will I have access as soon as I submit my online application?

A few internal steps must occur before you will be eligible to request general radiography. How long this takes will depend on the number of requests received. We recommended that you submit the online application as soon as possible to avoid delays. Please allow 7-10 business days before requesting general radiography, to allow time for your application to be fully processed.

How do I change my contact information?

It is important for routing of results to keep the NSCP informed of any changes to your phone, fax, or addresses. Updates to your contact information should be made through the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists online member portal and the changes will be sent to the health authorities to be updated in their systems. Visit Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists to login.

Why do I have to provide a contact number for after hours critical results?

To ensure safe patient care and as per the Diagnostic Test Requests – Authorized Prescriber policy, the Authorized Prescriber must have a process in place to be available to receive Critical Test Results day or night.

Diagnostic Test Requests – Authorized Prescriber Policy

How do I find the requisition for diagnostic imaging?

An approved copy of the requisition form has been distributed to the NSCP. The form is available on the NSCP Guidance Document website.

What images can I request?

Requesting X-Rays must be within a physiotherapists’ scope of employment to be eligible. Physiotherapists that are employees of NSH and IWK must follow internal required organizational preparation and processes. A list of views is provided in the NSCP Guidance Document.

How long does it take to get results?

Patients will schedule their own x-ray appointment and a report will be faxed to the number you have provided approximately 48 hours after the patient’s appointment.

How can I access patient reports?

Radiology reports will be available after sign off by the Radiologist and sent directly to the Physiotherapist via the fax number provided to the private clinic at the time of enrollment. Physiotherapists internal to IWK/NS Health will continue to receive reports via their current process.

If the patient has a most responsible health care practitioner (MRHCP), that practitioner will also receive a copy of the report.

If the Physiotherapist would like to have the report sent to another health care provider, that provider should be listed on the Copies To: section of the requisition.

How do I get a copy of a previous report?

You can request a previous report by completing a Request for Patient Health Care Information Form and sending to the contact information listed on the form. Please note that it could take up to 30 days for some reports/images dependent on the number of requests received.

What if I have not opted in as an authorized prescriber, can I still obtain reports?

If you are a regulated healthcare provider providing treatment to the patient, and the information required is necessary to support treatment, then you can request the information as a Circle of Care request.

What if I work at more than one location?

At this time we can only provide reports to one location, if you have multiple locations, please identify the best one for results to be sent.

What if there are critical findings on the radiographs?

In the event of a critical result the referring physiotherapist is responsible for following up and ensuring the patient is informed and directed to the appropriate care, this can include directing the patient to an emergency department.

What if there is a finding outside of my scope?

The physiotherapist may not comment on findings outside their scope of practice. In the case of findings that are out of scope and therefore require follow-up, the physiotherapist will contact the most responsible health care practitioner (MRHCP) via telephone to ensure they received the report and to confirm follow-up.

If the client does not have a MRHCP, the physiotherapist will direct the client to an appropriate walk in clinic, urgent care clinic, or local emergency department, along with a note indicating the concerns and referencing the x-ray report. Options for care are available via YourHealthNS.

I work at NS Health or IWK Health. Do I have to complete the competency LMS?

Competency materials are currently being reviewed and further communication will be sent once finalized.

What will happen to the IWK/NS Health policies?

Internal Guidelines will be developed to support NSH and IWK employed physiotherapists. Requesting General Radiography Studies by Physiotherapists (DT-DI-020) and Consultation for X-rays by Physiotherapists (IWK 7001) will be retired once the new documents are in place.

Link to Guideline