What I love about ezReferral:
- Designed by a physician – he understands the difficulties associated with referrals & wants to address them head on
- From the beginning, the team has worked directly with referral coordinators to find out what the problem areas are and how to address them. They continue to work directly with us to find out what is working, what needs tweaking and what can be improved
- His team is creative, innovative and motivated. The program is great – user friendly, innovative design, very easy to use
- Amazing Tech Support/Customer Service
- Makes communication quick, easy, efficient
- Provides a way to organize and track referrals
How has ezReferral made your job easier?
With ezReferral you have the ability to communicate with other offices as quick as you would with email, but in a safe and secure environment. Often we fax a referral off, and from our end, everything went through. When we call a month later follow up, we are informed that the referral was never received or that it was received, declined and a fax was sent back to us that we never received. This can be extremely frustrating and demoralizing, not to mention a waste of time. With ezReferral, I send the referral through the online system & there is no question that it went through. Within a few days (sometimes a few hours), I can have a note back from the specialist’s office with a status update on this referral! Amazing! That does not necessarily mean that my patient is going to be seen in the next week, but it means that I know that the referral was received, I am kept in the loop (status updates include “new”, “waitlisted”, “waiting for booking” “booked”), and the patient is kept in the loop. Even if the referral is declined I will know right away, at the click of a button, and can then easily forward it along to another office.
Was it easy to learn how to use?
ezReferral is so simple to use! If you know how to check your personal email, then you will have no trouble using ezReferral. If you have an EMR & can navigate it with even minimal success, you will be able to use ezReferral. It has “Google-esque” qualities; that is, easy, clear, user friendly, not “busy” or complicated. To test the ease of use, I purposely gave minimal training to one of girls helping me with referrals –
Basically let her look over my shoulder a couple times & gave her a copy of the training manual and she was a pro in no time. What process did you use before? How is this different? You need Internet & a basic computer but most clinics have that already. In fact ezReferral will likely end up saving us money, at the very least allow us to use our staff in a more effective way (save time, save money).
Our normal procedure for referrals: for each referral that we send out, we call the patient and inform her/him that the referral is in progress. When we get the notice back from the specialist office, we call the patient again. That means at least 2 phone calls to patient (realistically, we rarely reach people the first time we call & end up trying again & again), not to mention the time it takes to sort through the faxes, copying out the appointment details, and sending inter-office messages back and forth about the particulars. This takes time, time that could be better spent on more important tasks around the office & direct/indirect patient care. With ezReferral all the back & forth is eliminated & there is direct, clear and secure communication with patient. The patient is notified each step of the referral progress & once appointment is made, they communicate directly with the specialist office to confirm/change appointment. Also, you can set appointment reminders (i.e. 2 days &/or 1 week) so patients don’t forget about appointments.
By College standards, the specialist office is responsible to notify the patient of the appointment, this does not always happen for whatever reason. ezReferral will allow us to follow College standards with the click of a button. Eliminating faxing back and forth, repeated phone calls and costly mail outs to patients. Also, for specialists who have Prep Sheets or Info Sheets, ezReferral is working/has worked out a way to include this information with the appointment.
How has this program helped your patients?:
- Referrals won’t get lost
- Patient kept informed, for those who like to know what is going on
- Empowering for patient
- Feel that they are cared about (not forgotten or shoved to the back burner)
- Easy to get updates on the status of referral
- The “patient side” of ezReferral is easy to use (and fun!)
Why should other clinics join the pilot project?
Provides a way to organize & track referrals: I understand that specialists get tons of referrals, and I can’t imagine the nightmare of trying to keep track of all the referrals, let alone all the considerations that must be made in order to triage them. With ezReferral, it is simple; in one place you can see all the referrals that are coming in, not just the name of the patient, but the referring doc, the date, the concern, status, and priority. This info is arranged in beautiful columns that are sortable (like columns in Excel) and user customizable. Also, eliminates need for “calling to get update on the status of referral” phone calls.
ezReferral can be accessed from anywhere, so a specialist who wants to review all incoming letters can do this from home, office, hospital or Starbucks.
Improves communication (and relationships) between offices. Has so much potential – EMR integration, potential to be used between difference cities and across provinces.
Think of the programs that we use every day that are easy to use and make our lives easier – PDF, Google, email – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Word, Excel, our EMRs. At first we weren’t sure if they would make life easier for us, but now, we can’t live without them – this is where ezReferral is headed.
I would love to see more clinics join the program. The more people join, the more successful this project will be & we will really be able to see how it can change our system.
Gateway Medical Clinic