Electronic referrals just became easier with HealthLink
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Electronic referrals just became easier with HealthLink

In the digital health age and expectations for better interoperability, the pressure is on to improve the efficiency of electronic referrals. While electronic referrals have been available from within Medical Director via the HealthLink network for many years now, they have yet to be used on a large scale – until now.

GP – Specialist referral challenges
In the 12 months between September 2016 and 2017, some 1.4 million specialist reports were sent from specialists to general practice, yet in the same time-frame, only 102,000 referrals were sent to specialists. This is widely thought to be due to the difficulty users face when writing the referral with regard to knowing to whom they can refer electronically, what sort of things they can send, and keeping these details maintained within the local address book for use.

An exciting new system of digital referrals
As the only GP-sending participant in the Australian Digital Health Agency General Practice to Specialist referrals proof of concept project, MedicalDirector has been working hard with project lead HealthLink to implement a new and improved directory service lookup within the address book. This will allow a Medical Director user to search for provider or practice from any Secure Messaging Network and bring back the detail including electronic address into the local directory for use when sending the referral.

This new federated approach to directory services allows not only for the searching and updating of addresses across any secure messaging network, it will also allow for the delivery and tracking of the referral across interoperable gateways, seamlessly all from within Medical Director.

When is it available?
The new integrated directory will be made available first to Medical Director users participating in the GP to Specialist referrals proof of concept projects due to begin production messaging in February 2018. Following a successful trial, the integrated directory will be released into general production.

If you would like to take part in the project, HealthLink is still taking offers to participate from Medical Director general practices. Please note, in order to participate you will need to do referrals electronically and have either HealthLink, Telstra Health Argus or Global Health ReferralNet as your secure messaging partner.

You can register your interest at register@healthlink.net.