The transition of patients between care settings is an important function within healthcare organisations.
An ideal system ensures patients are transitioned in a timely and successful manner along their journey that will provide a positive experience. Clinical referrals are a critical part of this transition process, and therefore the patient’s journey, enabling clinicians to work together to provide individual patients with the right care at the right time.
A clinical referral is defined as a transfer of patient care from one clinician to another and is a vital document that enables clinicians to communicate and work together to provide the most appropriate care. The aim of clinical referrals is to ensure patients are referred to the right healthcare service, with the right information, at the right time, and that they receive the right response.
Having an appropriate clinical referral can improve the transition between primary care providers and secondary care specialists; increasing the legibility and accuracy of referrals reduces errors that occur through incomplete information or lost referrals.
A clinical referrals solution can integrate with a regional EHR or Health Information Exchange (HIE) which can then enable it to leverage the benefits of comprehensive access to the patient data that an EHR provides. Additionally, a clinical referrals solution can be deployed as a stand-alone solution, enabling the transfer of information between providers even where an EHR is not available.
What can we learn from a place that has implemented a successful clinical referrals system? What can we learn from Alberta, Canada?
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