On any given day, the North East LHIN processes hundreds of patient referrals from primary care providers. Once a patient begins receiving NE LHIN services, the care plan is often revised, with physicians adjusting medication or adding or deleting services to best meet the changing needs of the patient. Needless to say, there is no lack of communication between primary care practitioners and home care providers – the challenge is to ensure that the patient information being exchanged is accurate, clear and complete.
And that's where our new referral forms come in. Identified internally as a quality improvement initiative, the new forms are being developed in consultation with clinicians, pharmacists, and service providers in an effort to improve the quality of primary care practitioner orders and referrals. The ultimate goal of course is to enhance patient care by:
- minimizing the risk of patient medication errors;
- reducing the number of follow-up calls to physicians, and from community pharmacies, service providers and care coordinators seeking clarification of orders; and by
- improving the timeliness of setting up community services for patients.
The new referral forms will be much easier to complete and will provide 'addendums' for hospital e-referrals, as well as options to select the most appropriate referral form. For example, specialized referral forms are being created for Pain and Symptom Management, Wound Care and Infusion/Injection Therapy.
Designed in fillable PDF format, the new referral forms will be available on the North East LHIN website in late October 2016.