According to one survey, visiting a primary healthcare provider typically results in a referral by 9.3%. Tracking what follows is a lot of work given today’s healthcare expectations. But with a patient referral tracking system, you won’t miss any revenue opportunities, your patients will receive the best care possible and you can maintain a more powerful referral network with other providers.
This article explores the entire process of developing a patient referral system, from planning to implementation, helping you follow a timeworthy roadmap.
What is a patient referral tracking system
A patient referral system is software healthcare providers use to track their patient’s progress and record medical and referral history. It leverages multiple tools providing healthcare providers with convenient input methods, analysis tools and an up-to-date database for patient’s information.
This system makes it easy to identify patients and track their treatment including the services they have received. Medical staff can also generate reports on the patient’s progress. Some healthcare providers rely on patient tracking systems to communicate appointments and even test results to patients and other service providers.
What problems does it solve
Manually collecting, analyzing, storing and maintaining patient information makes tracking their progress harder. It also results in inefficiencies when handling patient referrals. Streamlining the treatment process can be hampered by delays in delivering patient reports, or even losing them which can result in delayed treatment.
By leveraging patient referral tracking systems, you are automating your workflows and ensuring the right people will always have instant access to critical patient data. According to a recent study, improving collaboration between specialists could potentially improve health outcomes for interdepartmental referrals. This is also true across referral networks.
Healthcare professionals rely on accurate information to help them make accurate and time-sensitive decisions about the patient’s health. An effective patient referral tracking system boosts your performance through:
- Improved workflows
- Providing timely treatment to patients
- Centralized storage for patient-related information
- Optimized digital communication channels
- Increased efficiency in tracking patient progress and treatment
- Effective allocation of resources
- Data-driven decision making
Issues with off-the-shelf patient referral tracking systems
Some institutions choose to automate through existing patient referral tracking solutions. This provides you with industry-standard functions to optimize your workflows. However, this approach has limitations for a growing healthcare facility.
In most cases there is limited functionality when it comes to optimizing your current workflows. You may fail to generate reports and KPI metrics for interdepartmental collaboration that you need to improve your services. Identifying your most valuable stakeholders e.g. returning patients and providers who refer most people to you or providers who prioritize your patients more.
Custom-built patient referral tracking system
When existing solutions don’t adequately address all your needs, developing a custom patient referral tracking system for your facility becomes the best solution. This way, you get to choose what functionality you want, solving all your pain points with one system.
A customizable solution helps you seamlessly streamline your patient journey. Given your already complex workflows, you can introduce new efficiencies allowing you to provide even better healthcare to your clients.
The biggest selling point for custom patient referral tracking systems is the ability to design software that meets your exact needs. Here are a few things to help you get it right:
If you don’t have an in-house development team, you have to undergo a consultation to prepare a budget for outsourcing development to experienced professionals.
As a growing entity, you need an enterprise solution that is easily scalable. It is best to consider cloud infrastructure and storage solutions to ensure you have an always available application.
Design is one of the most critical aspects. Plan ahead by identifying all areas you want automating and then center the software designed around that functionality.
Get a team of experts on your side. They will help you take advantage of the latest developments in patient referral tracking systems to give your clinicians the edge. Partnering with a software development firm takes care of the following stages:
Research into what features can be delivered to meet your needs is a practical way to approach software development. It will inspire a design that employees will find usable and easy to use.
Creating software development plan
In addition to the functionality you want in your software, decisions must be made concerning the tech stack, roadmap tasks and achievable deadlines, all within your budget. A team of experts will help you make the right choices without sacrificing performance.
Quick production of a minimal viable product (MVP), will help you understand which aspects of the design hamper your desired outcome. The MVP only has essential functions with the design aspects limited to things like navigation, UX/UI and buttons.
The main part of the development cycle is writing the application code. With design and functionality already planned out, an experienced team of developers, designers and project managers will get things done in no time.
After the coding is done, testing the software will be necessary to ensure it doesn’t have any bugs. You can check it for performance, scalability, speed, usability and more before deployment.
Interested in more healthcare software topics? Check out our article on how to create insurance verification software.
Get started now
Keeping track of your patient’s journey and maintaining an excellent referral network requires a best-in-class solution. Langate can help you solve your patient referral pain points. Our HIPAA-compliant development center has worked with clients in the healthcare industry for over 20 years.
Our team includes project managers, software consultants, developers, and testers to take you through the entire journey. We can also help maintain and upgrade your patient referral system keeping your referral workflows in top form.
Tracking referral data with a custom solution helps you with better organization and easier decision-making. In addition, it can help you grow and retain patients. Don’t miss out on more benefits. Contact the team at Langate to get the patient referral system that optimizes your operations.