Tasmanian eReferral system

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Introduction

Primary Health Tasmania is working with the Tasmanian Health Service and Department of Health to establish a single system to support electronic patient referral – otherwise known as eReferral – across primary care and into hospital outpatients.

eReferral project overview

Research conducted by Primary Health Tasmania identified low awareness of available referral pathways among providers and a lack of standard tools to support electronic communication between providers.

The eReferral project will make it easier for Tasmania’s primary healthcare providers to send, receive and navigate electronic correspondence in the interest of delivering more efficient and appropriate patient care.

What is eReferral?

eReferrals are a way to send secure, electronic referral communication between primary health care providers, hospitals, specialists and allied health practitioners.

eReferral will be seamlessly integrated into existing general practice clinical software packages (Best Practice and Medical Director). Services without this software can access referrals via one of two secure web portals (hospital or primary care provider).

Benefits

eReferral is a superior platform for encrypted electronic communication. eReferral uses smart forms to offer enhanced features not available in secure messaging.

This integrated tool will allow:

  • standardisation and centralisation of referral templates
  • easy access to information on appropriate referral pathways
  • secure and timely transmission of referral information across the entire spectrum of health care services.

eReferral proof of concept

The first stage of the eReferral project is a proof of concept. This will provide an opportunity to test the system from a technical, usability and outcome perspective.

The proof of concept will run for approximately six months with selected general practices, private primary care providers and three hospital outpatient departments.

The proof of concept of the system commenced in April 2020.

Key partnerships

Primary Health Tasmania is working in close partnership with the Tasmanian Department of Health and Tasmanian Health Service to build an eReferral system for Tasmania.

HealthLink, in partnership with Health Care Software, was chosen as the successful candidate to develop the eReferral solution and support the proof of concept.

Key participating health services include the cardiology outpatient clinic and gastroenterology clinic at the Royal Hobart Hospital and the renal outpatient clinic at Launceston General Hospital.

Five allied health, community health and specialist services will also be included.

General Practice Involvement

The eReferral proof of concept commenced in early April 2020 with a small group of general practices.

This initial group consisted of four general practices in the north/north west region and seven general practices in the southern region of Tasmania. These Evaluation General Practices will be providing qualitative feedback on the eReferral system from a General Practice perspective.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and Easter, eReferral volume was lower than anticipated and was not sufficient to rigorously test the internal processing of referrals by the Hospital systems.

In May 2020, eReferral was expanded to all computerised General Practices across Tasmania to boost referral volumes. These Participation General Practices will assist with gathering quantitative data on eReferral volumes.

Expressing interest in the proof of concept

General practices interested in participating in the eReferral proof of concept as an Evaluation General Practice will be asked to sign an agreement with Primary Health Tasmania.

The agreement will outline:

  • The expected activities for practices during the eReferral proof of concept
  • The expectations, requirements and remuneration for practices participating
  • Key points and capture the signature of an authorised representative

Upcoming events

  • November 2020
    Launch of Community, Allied Health and Specialist eReferral functionality

Introduction

Primary Health Tasmania is working with the Tasmanian Health Service and Department of Health to establish a single system to support electronic patient referral – otherwise known as eReferral – across primary care and into hospital outpatients.

eReferral project overview

Research conducted by Primary Health Tasmania identified low awareness of available referral pathways among providers and a lack of standard tools to support electronic communication between providers.

The eReferral project will make it easier for Tasmania’s primary healthcare providers to send, receive and navigate electronic correspondence in the interest of delivering more efficient and appropriate patient care.

What is eReferral?

eReferrals are a way to send secure, electronic referral communication between primary health care providers, hospitals, specialists and allied health practitioners.

eReferral will be seamlessly integrated into existing general practice clinical software packages (Best Practice and Medical Director). Services without this software can access referrals via one of two secure web portals (hospital or primary care provider).

Benefits

eReferral is a superior platform for encrypted electronic communication. eReferral uses smart forms to offer enhanced features not available in secure messaging.

This integrated tool will allow:

  • standardisation and centralisation of referral templates
  • easy access to information on appropriate referral pathways
  • secure and timely transmission of referral information across the entire spectrum of health care services.

eReferral proof of concept

The first stage of the eReferral project is a proof of concept. This will provide an opportunity to test the system from a technical, usability and outcome perspective.

The proof of concept will run for approximately six months with selected general practices, private primary care providers and three hospital outpatient departments.

The proof of concept of the system commenced in April 2020.

Key partnerships

Primary Health Tasmania is working in close partnership with the Tasmanian Department of Health and Tasmanian Health Service to build an eReferral system for Tasmania.

HealthLink, in partnership with Health Care Software, was chosen as the successful candidate to develop the eReferral solution and support the proof of concept.

Key participating health services include the cardiology outpatient clinic and gastroenterology clinic at the Royal Hobart Hospital and the renal outpatient clinic at Launceston General Hospital.

Five allied health, community health and specialist services will also be included.

General Practice Involvement

The eReferral proof of concept commenced in early April 2020 with a small group of general practices.

This initial group consisted of four general practices in the north/north west region and seven general practices in the southern region of Tasmania. These Evaluation General Practices will be providing qualitative feedback on the eReferral system from a General Practice perspective.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and Easter, eReferral volume was lower than anticipated and was not sufficient to rigorously test the internal processing of referrals by the Hospital systems.

In May 2020, eReferral was expanded to all computerised General Practices across Tasmania to boost referral volumes. These Participation General Practices will assist with gathering quantitative data on eReferral volumes.

Expressing interest in the proof of concept

General practices interested in participating in the eReferral proof of concept as an Evaluation General Practice will be asked to sign an agreement with Primary Health Tasmania.

The agreement will outline:

  • The expected activities for practices during the eReferral proof of concept
  • The expectations, requirements and remuneration for practices participating
  • Key points and capture the signature of an authorised representative

Upcoming events

  • November 2020
    Launch of Community, Allied Health and Specialist eReferral functionality
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