Question: How can a prescriber know if an "outgoing" referral "class" should be used?
Context: The top of Referral order requests asks for the classification of a referral order as “Internal” or “Outgoing”. Think of the province being divided into health care settings where Connect Care is or will become the record of care and settings where Connect Care is not and will not be the record of care. Referrals that start and end within the Connect Care “sector” are “Internal”, even if the destination clinic has not yet launched the CIS. Referrals that are fulfilled outside the Connect Care sector are “Outgoing” and rely upon delivery and fulfillment steps that occur in other information systems.
Answer: The most practical answer to this question is that "you will know". Connect Care physicians will have a limited number of ambulatory referrals used for commonly requested specialty services. Once one of these referral pathways is figured out, the associated referral order properties can be saved as a personal preference. This includes whether an internal or outgoing order class works best.
If in doubt, start an unfamiliar referral order with the class set to "internal". Try finding the refer-to department of interest. If nothing can be found (with various keyword attempts), then it is likely that the required specialty services is not yet active in Connect Care. The "outgoing" class can be selected and an order placed that involves the referral letter being mailed or faxed to the clinic of interest.
If you believe that there is an error in the list of available internal referral destinations, please send this observation, with specific clinic name(s) to ClinicalOperations-Patient.Access@ahs.ca.
During the early weeks to months post-launch, some clinics may not be fully referral-ready. It is always possible to generate the "internal" referral order and benefit from the standardized referral letter it generates. This can additionally be faxed (from within Connect Care) to the clinic as a fail-safe until referral notifications confirm that closed-loop referral capacity is fully established.