South Island Electronic Referrals Surpass 200000

10 Sep 2013

The South Island electronic referrals system surpassed another major milestone with over 200,000 referrals submitted using the system.  The e-referrals regional programme, utilising Electronic Request Management Solution (ERMS) software, enables health professionals to refer patients more easily between services by replacing the old paper based system when health practitioners had to write letters to refer a patient.

Since its introduction in Canterbury at the start of 2012, e-referrals has been implemented in the West Coast, South Canterbury and Marlborough with resoundingly positive feedback from users.  Planning for implementation in the Nelson area and Southern DHB is underway.

Regional Programme Manager Ray Emmerson stated the implementation process has gone very well.  “The number of referrals being made using the system is increasing every week as clinicians find ERMS easy to use and intuitive.”  GPs are reporting it can save a significant amount of time and improve accuracy of the referral by filling in the template forms.

Chair of the South Island Alliance Information Services, Service Level Alliance Dr Andrew Bowers said “To have a regional referral service is unprecedented in New Zealand and is a great example of how teams across the South Island, in this case the Alliance, DHBs and PHOs, in particular Pegasus which led the software development, can all work together to achieve a real improvement in the way health services operate.”

Dr Bowers said this is an exciting time for the Information Services, Service Level Alliance.  “We are making real progress with the implementation of region wide information systems like e-referrals.  This is not only more efficient than each district making the changes individually, but means patients can potentially get more timely care as common processes and systems are in place to easily and safely coordinate patients between districts.”

Published on: Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, under Information services