A paperless referral does not start with a scramble through the referral pad box looking for the right pad. It starts with a visit to the specialist’s web site; a smart interactive web site.
When you log on as a referring dentist the system will recognize you and automatically know all the basic details about you and your office, such as address, and phone number. As a referring dentist you will have access to an online appointment book showing open appointment times available for new patients over the next several weeks. You can secure an appointment for your patient immediately. Then you can fill in the referral information.
First generation attempts to create digital referral slips simply recreate the paper form in an electronic format. The dentist still needs to fill in the information (patient name, practice information, tooth #, diagnosis etc.) by hand with a mouse and keyboard.
Second generation digital referral slips are smart and interactive.
The system will upload all the appropriate patient data from the paperless record. This would include the minimum information we now scribble on the paper slip; patient name the tooth and the treatment.
But that’s not all. With a smart interactive referral you are not limited to minimums. The online digital referral system will upload all the patient information; like address, employment, contact numbers and the other things we need to create a new patient record. The system will upload the patient’s insurance information; plan, group numbers, contacts and benefits. The system will upload the patient’s health history with areas of concern noted.
In other words all the information a patient usually needs to spend time writing onto an over copied form on an old brown clip board is sent automatically before the patient even arrives for the first appointment. Rather than spending time typing and clicking the information from the hand filled form to the computer chart the data automatically fills in the computer chart.