E-Referrals – A Better Referral Management System than Paper Referrals

Referrals hold vital importance in the dentistry. An effective referral system bridges the gap between patients and healthcare facilities. Although electronic dental referrals systems have gained popularity due to their high efficiency, many people still rely on the conventional method of paper referrals. Just like various other aspects of the dentistry and health care systems have been taken over by the technology, it is the high time for dental healthcare service providers to take the plunge and switch to electronic referral management system.

In this post, we have shed light on some of the reasons why electronic referral system must be a top priority of every dental healthcare provider: Continue reading!

An Electronic Referral System is Fast

The first and foremost reason why you need an electronic referral system is that it is quick and easy. In case of a paper referral, it can take days to reach the recipients. However, with an electronic system, it is instantaneous and trackable.

No Risk of Referral Leakage or Loss

With an electronic system, there is no risk of referral leakage or loss. Information is kept confidential and it is only received by the intended recipient. Since referral can be tracked easily, these risks mentioned above are non-existence. On the other hand, with paper dental referrals, the issues of referral leakage and loss are quite prevalent.

Easy to Locate

Another common problem with a paper referral is to find them once they have been received by the recipient. Since there are plenty of referrals they receive on daily basis, sorting them in a proper way can prove to be a task no less than a challenge. With an electronic referral system, this problem is completely eliminated since the referrals are arranged in an automated manner. Hence, they can be easily located with just a simple search function.

Structured Form

Dental referrals, in an electronic referral system, are now compiled and sent in a structured form. All the required information is first entered prior to sending the referral. Hence, there is no chance of missing information upon referral reception by the receiving party as was the case with paper referrals. Quite often, vital information was missing from referrals, which resulted in back and forth communication between the recipient and patient or their dentist for missing information. This prolonged and complicated the process.

No Chance of Errors

With paper dental referrals, errors in the referrals was a common encounter for dentists as there was no proper method. However, with the advanced electronic system, no such issue is prevalent because of the streamlined process. Even if an error is made, it can be detected early before sending the referral.

A Final Word

The long and short of this story is that e-referral system is the need of the hour for every dental healthcare service provider. It is cost-effective, reliable, and structured.

Author: Suneel Kandru

He has been a resourceful and accomplished Endodontist as well as an ardent teacher of Harvard University, Tufts & Boston University school of dental medicine with strong educational & entrepreneurial spirit focused on implementing creativity, leadership and teamwork. Highly dynamic and service-driven professional backed by strong working knowledge of medical terminology, periodontal therapy protocol and HIPAA regulations.

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