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Queensland Health transforms referral management for better clinician and patient satisfaction


Queensland Health


State of Queensland, Australia


Organization type

State public health system


Rhapsody® Provider Registry

The customer:

Queensland Health

Queensland Health comprises 17 Hospital and Health Services (HHSs), each responsible for delivering public health services in their areas. There are approximately 7,500 General Practitioners (GPs) working across Queensland, as well as seven Primary Health Networks (PHNs).

Committed to ensuring all Queenslanders have access to a range of public healthcare services, Queensland Health delivers a variety of integrated services including hospital inpatient and outpatient emergency services, community and aged care services, mental health services and health promotion programs.

In a single year Queensland Health providers can receive approximately two million referrals for outpatient services. This volume was largely paperbased and included incomplete referrals which prolonged waiting times for specialist outpatients and delayed patient care.

The challenge:

Collaboration between primary and specialty care that facilitates exchange of high-quality provider data

Within the care continuum, provider data has relied on paper-based processes resulting in longer wait times for patients and frustrations for general practitioners trying to connect to the right specialist at the right time. GPs and clinicians depend on provider data— which includes such information as a physician’s name, services, specialty, address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.— for referrals, and this provider data helps GPs find healthcare services that deliver targeted care or offer a specialized service.

Queensland Health receives two million referrals annually for outpatient services, including incomplete referrals and some that do not include key information or are sent to the wrong location that impede care delivery.

To reduce delays and improve access to specialist services, Queensland Health sought to create a single point of reference for healthcare services available for patients requiring a referral to receive care. Queensland Health needed an automated and centralized system for integrating, managing, and updating provider data across the state.

To deliver a smarter, modernized and more integrated patient referral tracking system, Queensland Health created the Smart Referrals initiative. Key elements of the program included a services directory available for GPs to have access to a state-wide online directory of public hospital services to better inform and direct their referrals.

As part of the Smart Referrals program, Queensland Health leveraged the Rhapsody Provider Registry, powered with address verification and geocoding from Loqate, to build their Referral Service Directory (RSD). This critical component creates linkages between other elements of the proposed referral processes.

The solution:

Rhapsody Provider Registry

Queensland Health implemented Provider Registry to build their state-wide Referral Service Directory. Intended to improve referral tracking and referrer’s visibility, the RSD gives general practitioners reliable access to provider information and enables informed decision-making, enhanced workflow processes, and better clinician and patient satisfaction.

The RSD holds detailed information about the healthcare services offered and individual treating providers available at each HHS. GPs can discover the appropriate healthcare service and individual provider based on the clinical discipline/specialty required, the GPs determination of the patient’s condition, geographic location and other service specific capabilities or restrictions relevant to the referral decision-making process.

With the new approach, Queensland Health GPs can now determine the most appropriate HHS with a website search when referring a patient. As the referral process requires regular communication between the referrer and the HHS team treating the referral patient, it is critical that the details about the referring provider are accurate and available to HHSs.

Provider Registry also provides data quality capabilities to validate and improve the quality of referring provider information, enabling the communications essential to managing patient care across the primary health and hospital-based care setting.

Loqate’s global address verification solution embeds seamlessly into the Provider Registry and supplies Queensland Health with access to the best global address data on the market, helping them to:

  • Automatically check that incoming and existing addresses are accurate
  • Standardize address data to a universal format and updates inharmonious data
  • Associate a latitude and longitude coordinate to any address location with geocoding and reverse geocoding
  • Calculate the distance from the patient’s address to the healthcare service location and share this information with the GP, enabling ‘closest to home’ healthcare and informed decision making for patient referrals
  • Insight into a patient’s location can determine the geographical risk factors of a population, aid care interventions, and identify access to the most appropriate healthcare practices.

Employing the Provider Registry means that providers and systems that deliver care across Queensland Health will now be able to optimize the referral workflow and in turn provide enhanced patient care, no matter where the patient is located.

The results:

Queensland Health has transformed their referral management capabilities using Provider Registry, powered with Loqate’s global address verification solution, to:

  • Improve a referrer’s visibility through improved and timely electronic communication
  • Improve efficiency resulting in improved waiting times for specialist outpatients
  • Leverage address intelligence to find service providers based on patient and provider location
  • Reduce administrative burdens and lag times associated with incomplete referrals
  • Support > 2 million requests to the Address Verification Service for geocoding
  • Enable the RSD to currently store 13,167 addresses and 639 healthcare practices and facilities (such as hospitals, clinics etc.)

Interested in organizing your provider network and knowing your people?

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