Breaking News & Practical Tech Tips

Doctor’s Orders, How You’re Putting Your Patient at Risk with Referral Mistakes

When it comes to a patient’s health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. By taking the time to know your patient’s medical history and preferences, you can be the difference between life and death. With incredible technology at our fingertips, this has never been easier. This includes cloud-based technology, which is utilized by 59% of large companies. Unfortunately, when it comes to making a referral to a specialist, common mistakes made during the process can hurt your patient. By avoiding these errors, you can provide better care.

1. Not Setting Expectations for Referral: When a physician makes the initial referral suggestion, it’s important to set the expectations for the process with the patient. The patient should have the opportunity to ask and answer any questions about what the referral will entail. Allowing them the time to get comfortable with the referral is key.

Aside from the patient, the primary physician is expected to contact the specialist to go over the referral and patient’s medical history. An open line of communication between all parties is the number one priority for all involved. The exchange of information extends beyond paperwork and conversations in the office. With medical referral tracking software, practices are able to send a plethora of information back and forth. This expedites the process and allows for in-time communication.

2. Allowing Guesswork to Take the Lead: There is never a good reason to guess about the needs of the patient. If a primary is unsure of a note in a patient’s file, it’s up to them to find the answer. If the specialist has questions about a patient’s medical history, it’s up to the primary to get the correct answers.

Using a professional referral tracking system will take some of the guesswork out of the referral process. With updated healthcare referral management software, physicians and their employees are able to keep better track of their past and current referrals. It allows prompt communication between physicians and specialists. It also takes the guesswork out of finding important paperwork, which, when misfiled, can cost a practice plenty of time and money.

3. Delays in Patient Care Without Using Referral Tracking System: By waiting too long to get in touch with a specialist, a patient’s care may be delayed. Avoiding this is easier said than done, with the unfortunate truth that most physicians are only able to spend about 30 hours each week with patients because of other office-related responsibilities. However, taking those extra few moments to make sure everything is completed for one patient before moving on to the next can be the difference between right and wrong.

When a patient puts their health in your hands, you make an unspoken promise to care for them to your utmost abilities. Even though you may not be able to care for them directly, you can make sure they get the best care possible by properly referring them to an accomplished specialist. By using a referral tracking system and taking the time to make sure every party involved is up to speed with the situation, you are ensuring the best care you and your colleagues can provide.