New IHI Guidance Helps Organizations Improve Referral Process

AHRQ Prevention and Chronic Care Program logo

New IHI Guidance Helps Organizations Improve Referral Process

Breakdowns in the referral process are a significant patient safety issue, as they can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment.  New guidance from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement describes best practices for ensuring effective communication between primary care practitioners, specialists, and patients.

The IHI outlines a “closed-loop” referral process, a nine-step workflow in which all relevant patient information is communicated to the correct person through the appropriate channels and in a timely manner.  The document provides tools and strategies for implementing each step of the process as well as solutions for common pitfalls.  They also provide general recommendations for the stakeholders involved – clinicians, practice leaders, and EHR vendors.

Visit this link to download the full publication.

Learn more about how to improve primary care. Visit AHRQ’s Prevention & Chronic Care Program at:  http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/prevention-chronic-care/index.html