Why GPs should consider My Aged Care e-Referrals

Jean-Christophe Meunier

3/08/2022 4:34:34 PM

SPONSORED: Time is precious, so it makes sense to use technology designed to provide clinicians and patients with a faster service. 

Older person in medical consultation.
The e-referral SmartForms are currently integrated with Best Practice, Genie, Medical Director and Medtech Evolution Practice Management Systems.

Each year, My Aged Care receives around 250,000 referrals from health professionals seeking government-funded support for their patients. 
But while GPs and practice nurses frequently make referrals directly to the service, this can prove time consuming – and with the population continuing to age, demand is only set to increase.
Additionally, manual processes, such as faxing forms, risk errors that can affect the quality and accuracy of information collected by My Aged Care. 
To address these problems and ensure faster connection to services, the Department of Health and Aged Care, in partnership with HealthLink, has introduced the My Aged Care e‑Referral SmartForm to facilitate the direct submission of referrals.
Dr Eric Davey, a GP in Maclean, NSW, uses e-Referrals on a regular basis and says he has not looked back since making the switch.
‘e-Referrals expedite the referral process, so patients are assessed much quicker,’ he said.
‘I can ensure the information I feel is important is included and I’m confident the information is going directly to My Aged Care. The e-Referrals are also confidential and easily amended.
‘I save about 10–15 minutes per referral.’
The e-referral SmartForms are currently integrated with Best Practice, Genie, Medical Director and Medtech Evolution Practice Management Systems (PMS).
They are also quick and easy to use because they’re securely integrated by HealthLink into the patient record within your PMS.
Upon launch, the SmartForm pre-populates all the patient and practice details, enabling files to be attached from the patient’s record. Forms can be filled out during a patient consultation, asking the patient questions while they are there, getting the referral right, first time.  
Adopting an integrated referral solution for general practices and My Aged Care helps to achieve the following goals: 

  • Health professionals can use their PMS for referrals, without needing to switch to a different system
  • The process is fast and easy for health professionals, allowing referrals to be made during consultations rather than being an administrative burden later 
  • The pathway from referral to assessment is more streamlined, meaning patients have more timely access to care 
  • Using pre-populated records improves the quality and accuracy of information received by My Aged Care
  • My Aged Care receives more referrals from health professionals (particularly general practices).
Once the e‑Referral is submitted, a Confirmation Number is provided by My Aged Care on the submitted form, and a copy is instantly saved back into the patient’s file within your PMS. 
Since e‑Referrals launched in October 2019, My Aged Care reports more than 40,000 e‑Referrals have been sent. Quality has also improved, as e‑Referral ensures My Aged Care receives complete, detailed, legible patient and medical information every time.
The faster a referral is processed, the less time a patient has to wait to be assessed. 
The Director of the My Aged Care Online Services and Information Section, Kylie Sauer, is also an advocate for the SmartForm system.
‘We encourage health professionals to use e‑Referrals where possible,’ she said. ‘To save time and provide the best service for their patients.’
Step-by-step e-Referral tutorial videos are available for Best Practice, Medical Director and Genie. A PDF guide is available for Medtech users.
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Dr Daniel Thomas Byrne   4/08/2022 8:02:17 AM

Been using the eReferral for My Aged Care for a couple of years. I reckon my patients get seen more quickly as well when the ACAT people get a referral that integrates with their IT system.