New National Ophthalmology Referral Form and Integrated eReferrals

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A new specialist referral form for Ophthalmology is now live at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) having successfully completed the pilot.  It is based on the HIQA standard national OP General Referral form with the addition of 5 specific questions related to Ophthalmology e.g. best corrected visual acuity.

The form was agreed with the clinical lead for Ophthalmology at Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) and with the Quality in Practice Committee of the ICGP.  Referrals to RVEEH using the new national form are integrated directly into the hospital’s EPR system.  Therefore, they no longer need to be printed upon receipt and can be reviewed/triaged from any PC on the network.  The resulting new eReferral pathway is faster and more efficient, secure and traceable.

The healthlink system is an important tool in transmitting medical information in a concise accurate and timely fashion. It is an essential part of the Ophthalmology strategy noted both in the ICO/Clinical lead paper and the recently published Primary Care Review Document. In future, data from the Healthlink system should directly interface with Medisight the Ophthalmology electronic patient record. This is an important part of the overall integration of our information systems.

Mr Paul Moriarty - RVEEH Medical Director

From the GP’s perspective the form is integrated in the 4 accredited practice management systems and also available in the HealthlinkOnline portal. Acknowledgements are available instantly once the referral has been sent and triage information will be returned from the hospital within an agreed timeframe. Patient care is improved as GPs can offer reassurance that the referral is being actioned in the hospital. Patients also benefit from a more efficient referral which is faster, safer and contains all the specific clinical information necessary for the Consultant team.  The follow feedback from GPs was collected by Healthlink at the end of the pilot:

"Ophthalmic specific and gave the GP a guide to what was exactly required"

"eReferral integration with the practice management systems was fantastic and wished all services were available to refer patients in this way"

"very much in favour of the system because of time and cost savings"

eHealthIreland are now ready to enable the service for all other Ophthalmology services around the country and for more information please email ereferrals@ehealthireland.ie 

“This is a great example of a collaborative approach to enabling digital technologies improve access to hospital services for patients. This is core to the objectives of our eHealth Strategy. There was great engagement from the clinical community, hospital management and IT departments to ensure a fully integrated user friendly solution was enabled. I’m delighted to see this specialist referral being successfully piloted in RVEEH and excited to see it roll out to all Ophthalmology services nationally” - Ms. Gemma Garvan - Access to Information Lead

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Acknowledgements

Mr Moriarty (Clinical Director - RVEEH)

Prof. Power (National Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology - RVEEH)

Jeroen Verbruggen (IT Project Manager - RVEEH)

Healthlink Development Team and eHealth Ireland Project Managers

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