Patient Referral System

I have to agree with Dr Muiris Houston in the Irish Times on March 12th, 2010 about the need for HIQA to inspect the patient referral systems in all hospitals in the state

He suggests employing the St James Hospitals’ system which is published on their website as a standard template. I agree.

St James Hospital takes referral letters by post, by personal delivery to the outpatient reception desk, or by electronic means.

All referral letters are read upon receipt by a consultant or senior registrar to triage the clinical significance as urgent, soon or routine.

It is hospital policy to contact patients with an appointment within 10 working days of receipt of the letter.

This is basic organisational stuff and should be set as a minimum performance policy across the state.

The only missing item is the frequency of a performance audit.