Lismore Base Hospital is rolling out an eReferral system for its outpatient clinics.
The system uses Healthlinks’ SmartForms technology which will be familiar to general practitioners who complete the NSW Road and Maritime Services driver's licence renewals online.
To create the referral the GP’s usual software will download a Base Hospital eReferral form from HealthLinks servers. The form comprises a number of fields many of which will be automatically populated from the GP’s software. Related documents such as pathology and radiology reports can be uploaded as part of the submission. Once all mandatory fields have been completed the form is submitted. Electronic confirmation of successful submission occurs in milliseconds.
The referral is triaged by Base Hospital staff, and consultants as appropriate, and an official acknowledgement is sent when the referral has been processed. The acknowledgement format is brief and similar to the admissions and discharge notifications GPs will have received for their at risk patients as part of previous Winter Strategies.
The system is in a beta phase at this time with only some LBH Clinics involved but if the process is found to be useful it will be expanded.
Local GPS are being encouraged to provide feedback on how they find the current paper based system in the hope of addressing many of the issues that result in delay and the waste of time and resources. The online questionnaire is here.
Details about the project and its implementation can be found here. The Clinical Lead is Tim Marsh.