A referral management system can ease out many processes and operations for you, but only if you choose the right one. Using a referral management system is easy and you, your patients and specialists will reap many benefits. But again, all this ease and efficiency will only occur when you choose the right referral system. So how do you do that? Here are some ‘absolute must’ checkpoints for choosing the best referral management system for you:

You need to ensure that you and the staff within your healthcare organization can adapt to the system easily. Cloud-based referral management systems are the most recommended as they are easy to use, adapt to and implement.

Even the best referral management systems can prove to be inefficient if the navigation is complicated. Choose something that allows for easy navigation and saves time, instead of adding to it!

Everyone has a different budget and you can stick to it when choosing a referral management system. You don’t need to buy something overly expensive, but something that is effective and efficient. Do your market research.

Today, you may be a small practice but the future may hold much bigger goals for you. The referral management system must be able to support and grow with your growth. It should be flexible to adopt bigger and higher data and processes.

Multi-Level Referrals:
There are multiple channels or mediums for referrals and the management system must be able to process information from these multiple channels and integrate them as one.

Extent of Detail:
Make sure that the system you choose allows you to get complete details of the patient in one place. Medical history, current treatment plan, diagnosis and any other information vital to the patient’s health needs must all be accessible easily and in one place.

Information Privacy and Security:
Probably one of the most important points to consider. The referral management system must be absolutely secure and follow strict privacy policies in keeping patient information and all other recorded data.

Bridging Gaps:
The referral system must allow you to bridge communication gaps between dentists, dental specialists and the patients. Data and information must be easy to share with one another and instant communication channels must be supported.

When you send a referral, you should be able to track it too. A lack of tracking ability of the system can lead to time delays, inadequate care or even impacted re-referral rate.

Access Control:
Not everyone within the organization needs to access every detail. Choose a system that allows you to set limits as to who can access what information. For example, the finance team needs only finance-related information and not the medical history. This will further help enhance patient privacy and security. Take note and choose the perfect referral management system for best efficiency.


Advancements in science and technology have changed every sphere of life. The healthcare industry has also evolved and changed with technology making its presence felt across healthcare services and processes. From better treatments to enhanced operations, technology has enhanced every sphere of the healthcare industry. Technological tools and devices have greatly reduced manual work and effort, while also greatly enhancing communication, effectiveness and efficiency of multi-level activities. The one sphere where technology has still not greatly shown improvements is the ability to reduce medical errors. These medical errors can be broadly divided into two categories: errors in diagnosis and treatment and errors in operational processes. Both of these errors are dependent on the data available. The only difference is that before the advent of technology, these errors happened because of lack of data but now, with technology, these errors are a result of excessive data. Electronically updated health record systems are great data storehouses but even the slightest error in updating the data can lead to big and drastic errors. These electronic systems have been put in place by almost every healthcare organization. The data stored here adds to the treatment, reference and decision making capacities of health care experts. These experts deal with large amounts of data every day and these errors happen.

The other area of medical errors is with referrals. As mentioned above, since experts handle large amounts of data every day, the errors seep into the process of referring patients too. Sending the wrong information at the time of reference leads to associated problems like reaching out to the wrong person, the concerned person losing out on the opportunity and time to visit the required specialist. It’s thus a long and complex chain that has multiple loopholes, all tracked down to errors in referring a patient. Referral management systems have thus become the need of the hour. An effective referral management system reduces errors by bridging communication gaps between the patient, specialist and healthcare organization. Better communication reduces the time it takes for a patient to connect with a specialist and thus reduces the time for proper diagnosis and effective treatment to be administered. It also reduces the need to get the same tests done repeatedly, wrong medical data and other vital information. With an effective referral management system, all medical errors can be completely negated and the following benefits can occur:

  • Identification of the right specialist at the right time
  • Enhanced communication channels and bridging the gap between a patient and specialist
  • Better utilization of recorded medical data
  • Effective and convenient process
  • Minimizes the effort and enhances the efficiency
  • Reduces the wait time
  • Improves the process of scheduling appointments and tests

The healthcare field has no room for errors. Medical errors of any kind can lead to critical situations and all the effective ways must be implemented to reduce the possibility of such errors.


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