Question: Once a referral order is placed, what do physicians in the target service need to do respecting the review and prioritization (triage) of incoming referrals? I understand there are all sorts of rules about responding in a timely manner etc? How are those being managed during the “soft launch” of schegistration?
Answer: Our pre-launch training emphasis for physicians focuses on getting referral (outpatient) orders placed the right way so they get to the right destination with the right information. But there is a lot more to the process!
After an outpatient referral order is placed, the next steps could be relatively simple, with support staff managing an incoming referral work queue and scheduling appointments according to pre-set protocols (each specialty has its own, worked out as part of ARD or Path-to-Care or eReferral). More complicated processes do involve physician review, triage and priority setting at one or more steps.
Most of the Connect Care referral destinations (outpatient) are former eCLINICIAN sites. They already have referral processes in place, admittedly with a lot of variation between specialties. And eCLINICIAN upgraded to referral work queues, so there are no major workflow changes in Connect Care.
Those groups that use physician triage steps already know who they are. Some use physicians assigned to consult rotations. Presumably, they will maintain current process in Connect Care. But there is opportunity to do more to centralize, standardize and use the new closed loop visibility of Connect Care to improve efficiency. Our post-launch optimization work should involve learning from the best practices of the most experienced referral-management groups.