Leading the adoption of digital referrals

In 1843 Alexander Bain received British patent 9745 for his "Electric Printing Telegraph", a prototype for modern fax technology that revolutionised communication.

The invention preceded the telephone by 30 years. If Alexander Bain were able to view the modern Australian hospital today, he’d be shocked to see his invention still sitting within most major departments.

The healthcare industry is one of few where fax machines are still widely used. While other sectors have moved on to more modern, efficient, and secure technologies, the healthcare industry has been slower to adopt these new tools.

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) is leading the adoption of digital referrals in Australian hospitals, partnering with Consultmed, an Australian health technology company that streamlines digital referrals, consent, clinical triage, and remote expert opinion.

The Consultmed platform was designed by clinicians for clinicians. Traditionally, referral processes at our Network have involved a lot of paperwork and manual communication between doctors and specialists.

The Consultmed platform provides a centralised, web-based platform where staff can easily refer patients to specialists, using electronic forms and secure messaging tools. This allows for faster and more efficient referral management, reducing delays in care and improving coordination between providers.

For administrators within the Network, manual handling of hundreds of paper and fax referrals every day is a poor use of time and skillset.

Yasmin Gould, Outpatient Administrative Officer at SCH Randwick identified that Consultmed will help the timely processing of referrals.

“The other beautiful part of Consultmed is that if there is any assisting documentation, such as pathology or x-ray report, all of that will be part of the referral”, she said.

Overall, the adoption of digital referral platforms is a major step forward for the Network in our efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the referral process. It’s time to #AxetheFax.

SCHN is currently transitioning to digital referrals using Consultmed for outpatient referrals.

To find out more about this initiative, please visit www.consultmed.co or email hello@consultmed.co.