Advice to assist with triaging referral
A clear story helps with the triaging process so we can really “see” the patient.
When referring a patient to a specialist, GPs are encouraged to consider including the following information in their referrals.
This level of detail, will provide the CALHN clinician with a comprehensive overview of the patient, which will assist in the triaging process.
When developing your referral consider including the following:
- Why you want us to see your patient?
- What question do you want answered?
- What are you and the patient hoping will happen as a result of the appointment?
- When are you writing your referral?
In addition, including the following information may assist to make a referral more effective:
- Clear timeframes (weeks/months).
- Significant family history, including relationship and how old the relative was at the time of onset of the medical condition.
- Impact on function and quality of life.
- Significant negatives in terms of symptoms (eg no change in bowel habit, no weight loss).
- Medications/other management which have already been trialled, and how successful or unsuccessful they were and why.
- Other relevant details such as frailty, mobility, general level of fitness, hearing or vision impaired (to assist with provision of care).
- Relevant investigation results, both positive and negative
- Smoking and alcohol use.
- Other co-morbidities such as chronic pain, obesity (in relation to whether bariatric facilities are available in the institution to which you are referring), mental health if there is a significant level of disability.
- Cultural aspects including whether an interpreter needed? Does gender matter? What is the patient’s first language?
- Any special considerations? Such as transport, carer availability etc.
If the referral is urgent or if you would like to discuss your referral with a clinician to get advice before sending it, please don’t hesitate to ring the person on-call for the unit to which you are referring.