Patient referrals are the primary mechanism by which patients are referred to specialized care. Inefficient referral management creates a slew of complications for patients, payers, and health systems.
FREMONT, CA: Electronic referrals, or e-referrals, are electronic platforms that enable the smooth movement of patient information from a primary health care practitioner to a secondary health care provider. These digital systems are the digital equivalents of traditional referral management systems' paper-based referrals. A referral management system with electronic referrals can significantly improve information sharing and communication between practitioners. These solutions remove operational inefficiencies between providers, ensuring that patients receive timely care while minimizing leakage losses.
The Most Important Features of an E-Referral Management System
Currently, the majority of hospitals rely on various forms of EMRs to manage medical processes. However, these systems frequently lack the capabilities to manage referral processes from start to finish. To get the full benefits of an electronic referral management system, the solution must incorporate the following critical features:
Intuitive usage: Primary care providers and those who deal with them are frequently overworked and overburdened, and this is why electronic referral solutions must be user-friendly. It is preferable to have a solution with fewer features than a system with an infinite number of features, which is too confusing for consumers.
Work Lists That Are Manageable: Optimizing existing procedures is a fundamental objective of E-Referral solutions. Manageable work lists enable users to produce and manage referrals automatically according to their respective departments and stage in the referral cycle.
Encrypted Messaging: Medical information is particularly private and must adhere to HIPAA standards. Simultaneously, managers must have the ability to send medical information for urgent referrals. This is why these solutions must include capabilities such as secure communications.
Follow-up with Patients: Follow-up with patients is a vital component of the referral cycle. It enables health systems to determine whether or not a referral request has been fulfilled and is critical for closing the referral loop. Without patient follow-up, any E-Referral management system is incomplete.
Data Capture on an Automated Basis: Automated charge capture is likely the most critical aspect of any E-Referral management solution in terms of revenue collection. This feature supports most referral management automation, as it enables the system to conduct an in-depth analysis of referral behavior.