2021-05-28

Referral Management in Connect Care

Effective referral management is key to safe and efficient patient care. Alberta Health Services (AHS), and the Connect Care initiative, continue work to optimize referral processes.

Connect Care introduces standardized ordering, triaging and communicating in support of "closed loop management", in compliance with College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) practice standards and AHS QuRE referral guides. Using the correct Connect Care workflow ensures that consults and referrals are identified, tracked and completed in a timely manner.  

As always, if an issue is time-sensitive, there is no substitute for direct provider-to-provider communication. This supplements, but cannot replace, placing the requisite Connect Care referral (outpatient) or consult (inpatient) order. Bypassing Connect Care orders by means of hallway conversations, In Basket messages or chart copies does not meet CPSA requirements, can inconvenience colleagues, and risks referral loss. 

Clinicians who receive consult requests through informal channels should remind the requesting provider that the desired consult or referral must be entered in Connect Care. The onus rests with the requesting – not the accepting – physician. A simple SmartPhrase can be used to document such reminders.

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