The greatest weakness in any referrals process is communication between the referring and consulting physicians.
The communication problems often fall into four areas:
- incomplete referral requests
- roles of specialists are unclear (who does what?)
- no response from specialist after referral request is initiated
- no feedback to family physician after patient consultation is completed
These shortcomings affect both referring and consulting physicians.
These resources address most of the topic areas.
Physician directories provide guidance on who does what.
Seamless Care, Doctors of BC
A collection of joint efforts of family and specialist physicians throughout BC to improve communication.
Guidelines, standard forms
Guidelines for physicians regarding referral and consultation (2013)
Referral guidelines developed collaboratively by physicians in Nova Scotia
The Referral Consultation Process (2010)
From Standards of Practice developed by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
Collaboration in Patient Care (2014)
A Statement by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba
Guide to enhancing referrals and consultations between physicians, CFPC and RCPSC (2009)
Medical Access to Service, Alberta; see
case study (2009) on how this program was implemented
Referral form development
Referral form development: A how-to guide
Heart failure referral form
Building Access to Specialists through eConsultation (BASE)
eConsultation steadily gaining momentum in Champlain region, DocToc, fall 2013
Ten Steps to Establishing an e-Consultation Service to Improve Access to Specialist Care,
Telemedicine and e-Health, December 2013 |
E-Referral Strategy White Paper, Ontario
HealthLink, New Zealand