A New, Unique and Innovative Design Approach for eReferral
e-Health ePoster Library. Moran L. Jun 6, 2017; 167092; EP05.03
Lori Moran
Lori Moran
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Abstract
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Purpose/Objectives: Attendees will learn about: 1. A program that has the potential to involve a large part of Ontario and is leading strategic system improvements to support faster access to the majority of health services 2. The unique innovative design approach to develop a secure, system-wide, open electronic referral (eReferral) technology platform. 3. A patient portal and notifications system that supports patient and caregiver access to referral information and patient self-booking of appointments.

Methodology/Approach: The eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) is leading the innovative System Coordinated Access Program (SCA) to: 1) improve knowledge of and access to the majority of health care services for providers and patients, 2) support organizations to coordinate access to services and, 3) support the development of an eReferral solution and patient portal. To realize these goals, SCA collaborated with the Waterloo Wellington’s Community Care Access Centre and Local Health Integration Network to secure a vendor consortium to build an open and flexible system that will evolve as both technology and healthcare systems change. This eReferral solution is starting by supporting specialist referrals, referrals to a Central Intake Program, and patient self-referrals, and will support other work-streams as time goes on. A unique benefits realization model will be utilized for the SCA evaluation, to understand the realized workflow efficiencies, clinical value for provider and patient, organizational value, and economic impact.

Finding/Results: The Ontario-based consortium of Think Research, CognisantMD, and the Centre for Effective Practice was selected to lead the design and deployment of the ground-breaking eReferral platform. Three Proof of Concept (POC) pathways will be deployed using a rapid prototyping approach and involve input from patients, clinicians and administrators. The results from these POCs will determine if SCA will proceed with the current vendor consortium to support the future state vision of SCA. Results from the POCs and the go/no-go decision for the vendor consortium will be available for the eHealth 2017 Conference. A review of the growing body of literature on referral systems has demonstrated that access to services and patient and provider satisfaction can be improved by the implementation of an eReferral system. Parts of the benefits evaluation including some of the economic analysis will be available for the eHealth 2017 conference.

Conclusion/Implication/Recommendations: Digital healthcare solutions should be designed as an ecosystem, where functionality can be added by many different partners and information can be integrated from different systems. Such solutions are needed to support complex processes like referral to multiple parts of the health care system. Patients and caregivers should receive faster access to services close to home and be able to find their own services. Primary care clinicians should have access to up to date information on the availability of services, referral status and their patients’ outcomes. Specialists and service providers should receive complete and appropriate referrals and have fewer patients miss appointments. SCA offers a unique approach and a critical combination of project, clinical, change management, health system, and technical expertise that will ensure the successful creation and use of an eReferral platform.

140 Character Summary: @eHealthCE is leading the innovative @SCAprogram to design an integrated and adaptable eReferral system.
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