What is an appropriate electronic referral for psychiatry?




Prior, Scott

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Medical referrals are requests, typically from generalist to specialist physician, to see a patient in order to offer an opinion or further care and increasingly are conducted through information technology as electronic referrals (e-referrals). This study set out to determine an appropriate e-referral to psychiatry. A field study was conducted. The criteria and supporting information requirements for an appropriate e-referral to psychiatry were determined. These results were used in turn to conduct a gap analysis on current e-referral standards. It was possible to conclude that current standards would not meet the needs for an e-referral to psychiatry. The results were also used as a case study to address gaps in the knowledge of e-referrals. There was a recurrent theme that the development of e-referrals must account for a number of contexts and as such e-referrals should be developed conceptually before technical deployment. Next steps in research were then discussed.



psychiatry, referral, e-referral, electronic