Outpatient Referrals are more complicated than inpatient Consults because the request could come from inside or outside Connect Care and the request receipt, triage, assignment, acceptance, scheduling and fulfillment can involve many members of the health care team, as well as the patient. Outpatient Referral responsibilities for physicians depend upon whether one is involved in referral reception, triage and fulfillment or is simply initiating a referral.
Whereas inpatient consultations are placed from inpatient or emergency contexts, requests for outpatient assessments can be placed from outpatient, inpatient, emergency, critical care or continuing care contexts. Users may be frustrated when trying to find outpatient referral orders from within an inpatient order navigator. A tip explains how to request outpatient referrals from outside outpatient contexts.
Outpatient speciality services that use Connect Care as the record of care are "internal" referral resources. It is important that they have "receptor capacity" with appropriate use of referral intake messaging pools, work-queue tracking and physician triage coordination. These clinics should reach out to the Connect Care Patient Access Team (ClinicalOperations-Patient.Access@ahs.ca) to confirm that referral intake processes are referral-orders-ready.
Finding Outpatient Services
The Alberta Referral Directory (ARD), linked to all outpatient referral orders, contains information about available outpatient specialty services, their consultants, requirements for referrals and instructions about how to facilitate efficient referral access. The ARD is important, but possibly incomplete.