What is a referral?

A referral is defined as a transfer of patient care from one clinician to another and is a critical document as it enables clinicians to communicate and work together to provide you with the right care.

How will I benefit from electronic referrals?

Previously, when most GPs referred you to a hospital for specialist hospital attention, they faxed a handwritten note containing information such as your name and what your symptoms are.

However, not all the information required was always included in the referral. Also, handwriting can be unclear which means someone at the hospital needed to contact your GP for more information, which could result in your appointment being delayed.

When the referral is on paper it can get lost. This then meant that unless you or your GP follow up on your referral you may have started the process again.

With the electronic referrals system your GP can complete your referral online while you are in the consultation and he or she will receive an immediate notification that it has been received by the hospital.

As the referral is stored electronically, whenever you or your GP want to follow up on where in the process it is you will be able to get a definite answer.

The eReferrals form has been developed to provide regionally consistent information about patients and their current medical condition. The information collected is the minimum required by healthcare providers at the hospitals to allow accurate grading (triage and prioritisation) of your referral.