South Western Sydney PHN assists practices to implement electronic referrals.
It is not uncommon for a patient to either misplace their referral or forget to take it with them to see the practitioner. Even if referrals are faxed, their paper-based nature creates the need for data entry into local electronic systems.
Since 2000-01 referrals from general practitioners to allied health services have increased by 63 per cent. There is great variability in the content, quality and clarity of the referrals created and sent today which can adversely impact the effective and efficient assessment of and subsequent care given to the individual. Electronic referrals will allow for referrals to be sent electronically along with all the relevant information including the patient’s case history and relevant diagnostic tests.
Electronic referrals will:
- Save time by not having to spend hours printing, folding and putting referrals into envelopes
- Reduce the number of letters sent and received and eliminate the need to fax referrals
- Reduce postage and stationery costs
- Reduce the size of your database as you will not need to scan referrals into the system
- Eliminate the need to manage paper referrals in folders
- Save time by not trying to decipher the hand-written information
- Save time by not having to call other practices looking for ‘lost’ referrals
- Reduce the number of queries between referrer and referee
- Improve the process of referral transfer to ensure that the right consumer information is held in the right place
- Improve communication between specialists and general practitioners due to the timely availability of information, eventually leading to improvements in quality and safety of patient care