Referrals: A Golden Opportunity to Build Trust and Patient-Centricity
Posted Jul 16, 2021 via healthcareittoday.com
Physicians and patients do not like the current referral process. It is labor intensive, full of gaps and frustrating for everyone involved. There is a golden opportunity right now to improve referrals and help rebuild trust in healthcare as well as become more patient centric.
Broken or As Designed?
Ideally here is how a referral should work:
- Patient goes to their Family Doc with an issue
- After speaking with and examining the patient, the Family Doc is not 100% sure what is causing the issue, so they refer the patient to a local Specialist
- The patient’s medical information is transferred seamlessly from the Family Doc to the Specialist
- After reviewing the information, the Specialist sets up an appointment with the patient who is notified via phone/text/email. The Family Doc is also notified of the appointment
- After visiting the Specialist, the patient is prescribed mediation + treatment that will address the issue
- The diagnosis, notes and treatment plan are sent from the Specialist to the Family Doc
Unfortunately, this is often far from reality.
For one, the seamless transfer of medial records is not something we have achieved. In addition, the originating physician often has to call the Specialist to (a) ensure their patient is seen and (b) to find out what the outcome of the visit is. Finally, the patient often is the one who has to call to make Specialist appointments and shuttle results back to their Family Doc.