Guest Blog: Still Using Fax Machines And Sitting On Hold When Scheduling Outbound Referrals For Patients? It Can Be A Nightmare - But It Does Not Have To Be

Posted by Guest Blogger

April 1, 2019 at 10:07 AM


Jake+McCarleyHere is the situation.  Scheduling for patients with outside providers is often the hardest part of a navigator or care coordinators role. It is almost never immediate, takes multiple phone calls and compliance rates with the planned appointment is far from a given.  In fact, studies show that >40% of patients do not follow up with the referral appointments their doctor recommends. Why is that?

Here are the common problems:

1. The patient is expected to secure the referral appointment themselves, but never does…

2.  The patient or referring clinic schedules the follow up, but then never shows up to receive care

3.  The patient chooses to follow up with a different doctor  of their choosing

4.  The patient or clinic successfully schedules an appointment, and the patient shows up, but it is often delayed 30+ days after the initial visit

5.  The referring provider does not know if the patient’s follow up appointment was fulfilled

In order to improve the overall patient experience and to ensure the clinical care plan is unfolding as designed - you need to eliminate these problems.  With Blockit, our client's have visibility to schedule referral appointments with third-party partners before the patient leaves the building. This is key to the process because patients are 50% more likely to show up to a follow-up appointment when it is scheduled before the patient leaves the referring clinic.  With just one-click, the referring provider or their staff can schedule an available appointment with a receiving provider or imaging center without calling, faxing, or otherwise contacting the receiving facility. The software even confirms that the receiving provider is credentialed to see that patient’s insurance type.  That same one-click securely sends the patient’s demographics, desired clinical data, associated CPT/ICD codes, insurance information, and transfers that data directly into the receiving providers EMR/Scheduling software. The software is designed to make the process as automated and simple as possible for all users, while in the background, Blockit utilizes cutting edge technology, proprietary algorithms, and HIPAA compliant interface engines to create high usability.

Patients love how efficient the process is. They simply receive an email notification, calendar invite, or text message informing them of the time, location, and contact information of the receiving facility and are instantly placed on that schedule in real-time, just as if the receiving provider’s staff had scheduled the appointment themselves.

Here is a story from one of our urgent care clients you can relate to:  A patient with COPD arrived at the clinic with mild wheezing and SOB. She was recently started on a new medication and had called her pulmonologist to see if they could fit her in for an appointment that day but was told they were fully booked until late the following week.  The urgent care provider was able to treat her acute symptoms but was concerned that her symptoms might rapidly recur if her numerous COPD medications were not properly adjusted. Using Blockit, the UC provider was able to access a time slot and book an appointment with her pulmonology practice the very next morning.  Her medications were adjusted during that consult, preventing what was almost sure to be an unnecessary ER visit or hospital admission.

What makes the software unique is that it sends information via secure, HIPAA compliant interfaces between both the sending and receiving organizations’ EMR. Blockit has already successfully integrated with most leading EMR software companies like Epic, Athena, Cerner, Allscripts, Centricity, and eClinicalWorks. By being EMR agnostic, Blockit gives health systems and provider groups the opportunity to create a referral network with any provider or group of providers, regardless of their size or affiliation with a hospital system. No other referral software platforms can offer this and allow you to solve the challenge of connecting your patients to your network’s partner providers.

Jake McCarley is the founder and CEO of Blockit, a platform technology delivering real-time calendar availability and scheduling collaboration for patients and other partners in care.  Blockit has a strategic partnership with Cordata.  

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