The BC Adult Cochlear Implant Program accepts referrals from the following members of the hearing healthcare team:  otolaryngologists, family physicians, audiologists and hearing instrument practitioners.  We are cognizant of your busy schedules and have streamlined the referral process to minimize the work/time required.  Below, you will find an explanation of our referral process.  You will also find our current program forms available to you for download.  Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.    

Traditional criteria for cochlear implantation

Adult patients (18 years and older) eligible for cochlear implantation must meet specific criteria. These include:

  • Moderate (in the low frequencies) to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears.
  • Limited benefit from well fit hearing aids.
  • Speech perception scores on sentence recognition test of 50% or less in the ear to be implanted and 60% or less in the non-implanted ear or binaurally.
  • Motivated and with realistic expectations of the cochlear implant.
  • No medical contraindications.
  • There is no upper age limit to obtaining a cochlear implant.  


Please note:   As of January 2020, the BC Adult Cochlear Implant Program expanded the cochlear implant candidacy criteria to include patients with single-sided deafness (with duration of deafness of no more than 15 years), asymmetrical hearing loss, and bilateral sequential cochlear implantation for those that no longer benefit from amplification on their non-implanted side. These patients will need to be assessed to determine candidacy.  Once the completed documents have been received by the program, they will be reviewed by the cochlear implant team to determine if a candidacy assessment is appropriate.


Referral Process

Referrals can be sent to BC Adult Cochlear Implant Program.  

                 St. Paul’s Hospital
                 BC Rotary Hearing & Balance Centre
                 2600 Providence Building
                 1081 Burrard Street
                 Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6
                 Phone: 604-806-8540
                 Fax: 604-806-8777  

  1. A referral package will be sent to the referring provider which will include the documents below.  Once all documents have been completed, the referring provider will either fax or email all documents to the BC Adult Cochlear Implant Program.  Incomplete referral packages will not be accepted.  Fax:  604-806-8435  Email:
    • CI Questionnaire:  Provides to the clinic relevant patient history.  To be completed in detail by patient or by patient's support. 
    • CI Dizzy Questionnaire:  Provides to the clinic information on patient's history with dizziness.  To be completed by patient or by patient's support. 
    • Hearing Aid Check:  Provides information on the state of the patient's hearing aids.  To be completed by patient's hearing aid provider. 
    • Current audiogram:  Including air, bone conduction pure tone testing and speech testing (word recognition scores).  
    • Historical audiograms:  Any additonal previous audiograms.
  2. Cochlear implant intake meeting:  Once all documents have been received, each referral will be reviewed on an individual basis at our weekly cochlear implant intake meetings.
    • If the documents reviewed indicate that the patient is clearly NOT a candidate, a letter will be sent advising the patient that they do not yet meet the candidacy criteria.  
    • If the documents indicate that the patient MIGHT be a candidate, a candidacy assessment will be scheduled.  
    • If the documents suggest that a hearing aid trial or hearing aid adjustment is required prior to completing a candidacy assessment, a letter will be sent to the patient, the referrer and the hearing aid provider notifying them of this.  
  3. Hearing Aid Trial/Adjustment: Once the hearing aid trial or adjustment has been completed, a new Hearing Aid Check form will be required completed and sent in. This information will be reviewed at a second cochlear implant intake meeting where a decision will be made.

NOTE: Cochlear implant candidates that were originally referred to the program by an audiologist or a hearing instrument practitioner will be required to obtain a referral from their family phyisican to the office of Dr. Brian Westerberg and Dr. Jane Lea to complete the medical/surgical candidacy assessment.  CI candidate - referral to surgeon required