Access & Referral Targets

The primary aim of pediatric Eating, Feeding, and Swallowing (EFS) services is to assess and manage concerns presented by those with a suspected or known pediatric feeding disorder, to improve health outcomes and patient safety, while promoting quality of life, and creating a positive feeding experience. This may involve addressing issues within the following health domains as they relate to a pediatric feeding disorder:

  • Nutrition and Hydration Domain
  • Medical Domain
  • Feeding Skill Domain
  • Psychosocial Domain

AHS Standardized Service

Target Population

Children (birth to 18 years old) with a known or suspected pediatric feeding disorder.

Access & Referral






Local service providers accept referrals from all sources, and may or may not include self-referral.

Zone services support local service providers and accept referrals for individuals who require complex eating, feeding and swallowing related assessment and treatment.

Provincial services are available to those infants, children and youth who have had a clinical assessment and require support that cannot be accommodated at the zone level. One site may offer a mix of zone and provincial level services based on context and needs.


  • Community Rehabilitation
  • Rural Health centres
  • Home Care
  • Municipal and Community hospitals
  • Regional Hospitals
  • Regional Outpatient Rehabilitation programs

Specialized EFS service locations such as:

  • Stollery Hospital
  • Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Alberta Children’s Hospital


Wait Time Targets

Wait time targets for clinical and instrumental assessment are based on priority levels, and are as per standard patient access targets in Connect Care for general rehabilitation:

Urgency Level Definition Wait Time Target
Emergent Not currently medically stable, high risk of harm requiring intervention within 24 hours. Available only in emergency and inpatient hospitals
Urgent Acute risk of harm due to hydration status, nutrition status, or aspiration risk, but not in immediate danger. 2 weeks
Routine Low risk of immediate harm, nutritionally stable. 6 weeks