Support for digital referrals amongst Network staff and referrers

Sydney Children's Hospitals Network is transitioning to digital referrals from February 1, 2023 using Consultmed for outpatient referrals.

Dr Mary McCaskill, Director of Medical Services and Clinical Governance for our Network said staff had strongly voiced their approval of the product.

“The strongest voice in support of Consultmed has been our clinical staff who say it’s much more efficient. Less of their time is spent chasing bits of paper around and more time is spent with the patient,” she said.

“What it’s done is completely revolutionise the way they deal with referrals. The referrals are clearly identified when they arrive. They arrive electronically. They are seen swiftly. They can easily be organised in a much shorter time frame, and everybody can keep track of where the referral is up to."

As well as these efficiency gains, the adoption of Consultmed means the potential for our Network to embrace alternative models of care such as remote Advice and Guidance (A&G). With the Consultmed A&G feature, primary healthcare providers are able to access specialist opinion remotely, allowing patients to be better looked after closer to home.

Dr Matthew Lam, a Western Sydney GP, said that tracking referrals and A&G capabilities are particularly welcome features.

“With Consultmed, I am assured that the specialist on the other side has actually received the referral. This also reduces medical errors and risk to patient safety, with no more lost or misplaced referrals.”

I can ask for specialist advice and guidance through the portal. This is really helpful because I can better manage my patients locally and perhaps save them a trip to the hospital”, Dr Lam said.

The future of digital referrals at our Network looks bright. Brighter than the error message that flashes when a fax machine malfunctions mid-referral.

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