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New guidelines for referring

Thursday 1 February 2018

If you are referring a public patient to Mater for specialist outpatient care you may notice some changes.

Commencing 1 March 2018 revised referral guidelines for public specialist outpatient services will be rolled out for Mater Hospital Brisbane.

These condition-specific guidelines are available at Mater Online and detail the essential information required at the time of referral while also providing transparency about how the referral will be assessed for urgency when reviewed by our specialists. 

An urgency category will be applied by our teams and you will be advised of an anticipated waiting time for your patient’s first appointment.

We are now able to provide more detailed information about your referrals which should lead to safer clinical handover from community to hospital based care.

Clinical Access Officer, Bronwyn Jennings, has worked with stakeholders to ensure the new referral processes align with the state-wide standardised Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC). This is so that GPs referring for publicly funded care have consistency around referral expectations and patients have equitable access to services. 

What’s changing?

  • Mater Online referral guidelines pages will be updated giving better detail about the criteria for referral. You will see condition specific guidelines for specialties and more transparency for how your referral will be assessed based on the acuity of your patient’s condition. You can then access information on the current waiting times for each clinic and help set more informed expectations with your patient. 
     
  • Our letters and correspondence related to referrals have been improved. In the case that a referral cannot be accepted, more timely and clear feedback will be given from our specialist teams about the essential information required for assessment. We understand that this has been an issue in the past and have worked to address this need.
     
  • To support the change we have established a GP Priority Phone Line. If you have questions regarding a new or existing referral you can call 07 3163 2200 or 07 3163 2200 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday.

Why the change?

Best practice referral guidelines as clinical decision support tools are designed achieve safer transition across community and hospital.

Clear social modifiers within the tools allow for clinical override by GPs or specialists where this is appropriate.

Reducing variability allows for better expectations of care for referring practitioners and patients at the time of referral and faster response from clinical teams at the hospital. 

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