The emergency department wanted to strengthen its outreach into the community and build volume. But, in a very competitive Orange County market, they needed to improve their accessibility to potential referring providers given that urgent care and primary care clinics could refer patients to EDs closer to them. While geographic proximity played a factor, many of the local urgent care clinics also considered quality and speed of care that their sickest patients would receive upon arrival to the ED. Unfortunately, calling up the ED to refer patients often involved lengthy phone calls and being put on hold, while sometimes patient info was lost, creating a negative experience for the patient due to the staff’s lack of preparation.
To improve access to care, the emergency department digitized its transfer process for getting referral patients from urgent and primary care clinics.
Lisa Piatek and the leadership team, including the hospital CEO, CNO, and ED nurse director, implemented ER Passport to let urgent and primary care clinics submit a secure, web-based transfer instead of having to call the hospital, get transferred to the ED, wait on hold for a charge nurse, and then verbally give the transfer case information.
ED leaders implemented a simple workflow using ER Passport’s automated alerting features to make the patient access nurse, triage nurse and charge nurse aware of the incoming patient and prepare for their arrival. When the patient presented, they could have a room ready and greet the patient knowing why the patient came and who sent them.
ER Passport automatically emailed the referring provider the disposition status (admitted, discharged, etc.) for their patients. This push alert gave them a secure, convenient way to know the outcome, helpful especially for non-affiliated providers who did not have access to the hospital’s EMR.