Have you ever noticed how much better you get at doing something difficult – with lots of practice? This is certainly true of developing online referral technology. Northland Health was among the first DHBs in the country to implement an eReferral system (in March 2009). Today approximately 90% of all GP referrals to Northland Health are arriving electronically. Please take a look at a video we have just completed detailing the recent experiences of the people involved in the Northland eReferral project.
In this short video presentation, Dr Dianne Davis, practicing GP and GP Liaison Officer explains the journey that Northland has been on over the past three years and the way in which they have been able to achieve a range of efficiencies in dealing with incoming referrals. Once upon a time an incoming referral passed through 11 pairs of hands. As Dianne says, those were 11 opportunities for a referral to be delayed or lost. Today, the entire process of receiving a referral is electronic. Clearly, a stepped implementation process, continuous review of improvements and incremental adjustment to improve further has stood them in very good stead. Both Northland Health and the region’s GPs are getting significant productivity gains and are becoming more and more confident in the robustness and security of the online referral process.
A key driver of this improvement has been use of the HISO 10014.2 online forms standard and this should reinforce once again the huge power of standardisation and the impact it can have on automating routine processes within our health system. We are very pleased to be at the forefront of promoting and improving standardisation which we see as being fundamental to the development of interoperability within the sector.
I would like to pay tribute to Dianne Davis and her colleagues and the wonderful work they have done to push the boundaries of electronic referrals use. They have been leaders in eReferral development for several years. Also due a lot of credit for the success of this initiative are Lisa Wickham and Chris Farrelly of Whangarei’s Manaia PHO and Ken Leech of Procon Consulting (head of the Northland Primary Care Information Group). Excellent and sustained teamwork between PHO and DHB is now paying huge dividends for the people of Northland. We’d also like to acknowledge the teamwork of people from electronic medical records (EMR) vendors Medtech and My Practice. Their efforts are also fundamentally important to the success of this endeavour.
For further details about HealthLink’s eReferrals capabilities, including gaining access to a demonstration system, click here.