Problems with referral management software

There are a few problems when practices/providers use 3rd party physician referral software. This is why I prefer to use referral software that sits on on top of our fax machine.

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There are a few things to remember/understand when practices/providers are using referral software.

These are also the reasons why I prefer referral software that sits on top of the fax machine, seamlessly.

If the Referring doctor is using a referral software, their referral recipient partner also has to use that software (not always the case, but most of the times, this is the case). 

If the specialist office does use the software, then the referring office sends the patient referral using the software.

Few things can happen here since the referring office & the specialist office both store the patient information separately in their own separate EMRs (e.g. one could be using PracticeFusion and another could be using eClinicalWorks).

The referring office might have connected their EMR to the referral software so the patient information is automatically transferred to the referral software.

The specialist office might have connected their EMR to the referral software so the patient information is automatically transferred to the referral software.

Both of these provider offices could have connected their EMR to the referral software so the patient information is automatically transferred to the referral software, however practice 1 wants to connect their EMR to the referral software using HL7 interface and practice 2 wants to connect their EMR to the referral software using Secure Direct Messages.

Neither one of the practices might have connected their EMRs to the referral software. In this case, staff from either side has to manually transfer patient information back and forth between the referral software and their EMR (usually people forget to do these things).