How can an Outpatient Referral be ordered in an Inpatient Context?

Question: Physicians ordering referrals for outpatient specialty assessment cannot find the needed orders when using the Order activity in inpatient encounters. How can follow-up consultations be arranged?

Considerations: Whereas inpatient consultation requests can only be placed from inpatient or emergency contexts, outpatient referrals are available to outpatient, inpatient, emergency, critical care or continuing care contexts. Unfortunately, inpatient and outpatient order catalogues are different. Users may be frustrated when trying to find outpatient referral orders from within an inpatient order navigator.

Answer: Outpatient referrals can be ordered during Inpatient encounters, but there are a few tricks to be aware of. Emergency physicians need to pay attention to where ("After visit procedures") the referral order may appear. Inpatient physicians need to use either the Discharge Navigator or an External Orders tool to make the outpatient referral arrangements; all explained in: