Objective: To establish a process of referral for young adult patients with congenital heart disease from pediatric to adult centres.
Design: Directors of pediatric cardiology units across Canada were asked to complete a questionnaire detailing their process of referral of young adult patients with congenital heart disease to adult centres. They were also asked to respond to specific case scenarios. Adult cardiologist members of the Canadian Adult Congenital Heart Network were asked to respond to the same case scenarios.
Main results: Most pediatric cardiology centres refer patients to adult cardiologists at 18 years of age. The process of referral generally involves a referral letter and relevant parts of the chart. Few centres arrange a booked appointment with the adult cardiologist, although this would be preferred by the majority of the responding adult cardiologists. Generally good agreement existed between pediatric and adult cardiologists with regard to the kind of patients who required specialized care at an adult congenital heart centre.
Conclusion: Within Canada, a process is rapidly evolving to facilitate the transfer of care of young adults with congenital heart disease.