This week we will review internal referral work already completed and still underway, and to describe how the efforts will result in better outcomes for our patients and clients. We hope also to bring voice of the Action Team to our next posting, and on all subsequent messages that involve work with the Norms.
To summarize the purpose and goals of our internal referral work:
We believe that in order to improve client/patient outcomes and to increase well-being, our clients and patients must receive the benefit of all YCCAC resources for which they are eligible, in need, and want, in a seamless fashion. We call this “integrated services.” To better integrate our services, we are pursuing strong internal referrals.
Last year, an Internal Referral Team was tasked with defining “internal referral” and determining the best ways to put internal referrals into practice. The team came up with the following:
YCCAC defines a seamless internal referral as one that has a trackable, measurable workflow, and is closed-loop. By closed-loop, we mean that status updates of the internal referral are provided with feedback of stages of process, and acknowledgment of referral, within 24 hours, and contact with the client/patient within 48 hours. Characteristics of a seamless referral include:
1. Client/patient permission is obtained prior to referral
2. Success of a seamless internal referral is measured by observing the determined workflow and is not dependent on the client’s outcome
3. Our communication will include information regarding priority and urgency of the situation An Internal Referral Pilot is underway. T
he Pilot’s goal is to test a system that supports our clients and patients as they connect to YCCAC services, and which streamlines and tracks for programs and departments. The Pilot is testing the:
• Ability to make referrals when the appropriate program/resource is known.
• Ability to make referrals when the program/resource is not known.
• Possibility of moving to scale across the entire agency.
• Ease of making and receiving referrals.
• Tracking of referrals and the outcomes.
• Workflows for each department to carry out referrals.
The Pilot includes staff from across programs and departments who have been trained in the referral workflow and technology. The Pilot is running from September 14 to October 30, after which we will review the work and experience, and make whatever changes or revisions we feel necessary. We can also determine whether the process should be open to additional staff for training. This approach will be our standard practice as we move forward and build workflows across the agency. Some departments may have staff assigned to make referrals, while other departments train their entire teams for the work.
We welcome any ideas that might help in our efforts to make internal referrals easy, active, routine, and above all, successful. If you have thoughts or ideas to share, please send them to Meaghan Arzberger at Meaghan.Arzberger@yccac.org.