June 3, 2020

New Referral Manager launches 25 June

Northern Health is introducing an electronic Referral Manager (E-Triage) system on 25 June, capable of processing 130,000 patient referrals per annum.

The Referral Manager will replace the current paper process in use and was a need identified by Ernst and Young in 2018 and endorsed by our Audit and Risk Committee.

Daniella Chapkoun, Project Lead, Referral Manager (E-Triage) Project says, “Because the current system is a paper process, it’s harder to track the referral once it leaves the Business Centre.”

Says Daniella, “With the new Referral Manager, we can ensure the security of the referral, ensure our patients get their referral actioned and they get an appointment  in an appropriate time frame.”

As Daniella points out, from a referrer’s perspective the process will be easier- no longer multiple forms, but one centralised point electronically. It will cover all the specialist clinics including Cardiology, plus Allied Health and Community Access.

“This will help the referrer and help the triaging process – because we know where every referral is at every point.”

From a patient point of view, it will be faster too, says Daniella.  “When their GP refers it will be actioned quicker. We no longer are printing referrals and leaving it in the mailroom- it will all be electronic.”

“Every action is done within seconds and the whole process from registration to appointment can be done in 10 minutes. Currently this takes at least 24 hours.”

Chief Medical Officer, John Ferguson, says, “The introduction of the new Referral Manager system is very timely and is to the benefit of our patients and referring doctors specifically, ensuring that referrals sent to us will be appropriately recognized and managed efficiently and effectively.”

“Using the system requires some training, and changes in current work practices for our medical staff, which are being worked through. Ultimately we do see this system to be advantageous for patient care and I strongly encourage our medical staff to work with us and help implement the new referral manager system at Northern Health.”

Featured pictures shows from left to right: Maria Tucker, Divisional Director Nursing- Cancer Services, Lucinda Stoneham, Future State Specialist Clinics Project Lead, Sam Soggee, Director of Operations, Cancer Services and Specialist Clinics, Cathy Fletcher, Nurse Unit Manager, Danielle Byrne, Project Officer, Referral Manager Project  and Daniella Chapkoun, Project Lead, Referral Manager.