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Syed Rayyan Qadri
OS22 - eServices: Better Than Paper! (ID 35)
- Event: e-Health 2019 Virtual Meeting
- Type: Oral Session
- Track: Clinical Delivery
- Presentations: 1
- Coordinates: 5/28/2019, 01:15 PM - 02:15 PM, Pod 7
OS22.04 - Impacts of Integrating Electronic Referrals in an Ambulatory Care Hospital (ID 270)
Faced with an aging population (65+) and growing need of specialized care services, hospitals are seeing an increase in referrals from health care providers. In turn, this is making it increasingly difficult to track, triage, and schedule faxed referrals. Handling of paper referrals continues to challenge hospitals due to incomplete documentation, filing, transcribing into the electronic health record (EHR), redirecting incorrect paper referrals, and linking referrals to scheduled appointments. This fragmented process is negatively affecting clinical/administrative staff workflows by delaying the scheduling of appointments that consequently increases patient wait times to receive care. Additionally, referral information is not easily accessible to providers causing redundancy in clinical visits (e.g. the ordering of unnecessary tests). The purpose is to present an electronic referral (eReferral) solution (CareLink) that enables Women's College Hospital (WCH) to receive/manage multiple referrals from community providers in different organizations. CareLink is integrated seamlessly with WCH's ambulatory electronic patient record (aEPR) system through a web-based application that allows community providers from various clinical organizations to submit referral information for a patient electronically, which gets directly stored in the corresponding patient's aEPR.
Referrals submitted through Care ink can be easily managed by the community providers and tracked by patients (through the patient portal) to view the referral progress from scheduling to completion. This is an innovative approach to removing paper referrals because WCH is using an extension of its aEPR system to establish a portal for eReferrals, which avoids the need for double documentation and/or printing of referral information at both ends.
A mixed methodology will be used that includes telephone interviews, qualitative and quantitative electronic surveys, and data extracted from the system record, to assess the impact of the CareLink solution for eReferrals on the efficiency of workflows and quality of care provided to patients.
As an outpatient ambulatory hospital, WCH receives about 56,000 referrals a year from community providers for more than 60 unique clinical programs. The CareLink eReferral solution improves referral workflow efficiency of the clinical and administration staff, reduces wait times for patients by minimizing delays in appointment scheduling, encourages consistent referral completion/documentation, and improves the triaging and tracking of referrals. In addition, electronic referral data allows for rich data mining, analysis and detailed reporting for both WCH and the ministry. The initial response of the clinical and administrative staff has been extremely positive after embracing the idea that they would potentially get rid of the paper and faxing processes for referrals from their workflows.
The use of eReferrals can greatly improve the workflow efficiency and the quality of care provided to patients, especially for an ambulatory setting like WCH. The notion of having the CareLink eReferral solution to digitally receive referrals and eliminate the associated paper-based processes between clinical organizations will improve the inefficient referral process in place and foster better connectivity across the care continuum. CareLink will require extensive stakeholder involvement through engaging dialogue, mapping of clinical and administrative workflows, and the resources to technically configure the extended web-based application to integrate with WCH?s aEPR.
140 Character Summary:
CareLink eReferral solution at WCH, an ambulatory hospital, will improve the efficiency of referral workflows and the quality of care being provided to patients.
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