Within the dental practice I am going to change the current external referral process for patients. The patient referral process is for the necessary referring of patients to the local PCT for dental work that may be too complex for the GDP or for patients that are too afraid to accept dental treatment within the general dental surgery and require a form of sedation.Currently the referral process requires that the GDP writes all the necessary details, Including patients personal details and the treatment they require on the relevant form provided by the PCT and any relevant radiographs are included.Once the form is fully completed it is then posted to the local PCT who will triage the referral to the appropriate department. I feel this process is currently very time consuming, costly to the practice with postage charges, referrals run the risk of getting lost in the post and once any radiographs are sent with a referral the dental practice no longer has a copy.
I am going to change the referral process so that all referrals will be sent online via a secure software program provided by the PCT, this will also allow all radiographs to be scanned onto the computer and sent with the online referral ensuring that the Dental practice always retains the original radiograph. I feel that this will be beneficial to the dental practice as it will be less time consuming the GDP, will ensure that no referrals are lost in the post and ensures a copy of any radiographs are retained in practice.It will also be more efficient for the patient as once a referral is sent online it is received immediately by the triage centre and patients will receive an appointment in a matter of weeks rather than months. I will trial this new referral system for one month, after which I will gather feedback from colleagues regarding their experience with the system and find out their opinion.I will also look at how the system could be further amended and whether it is more efficient than the original process and with the help of my colleagues will make a decision on whether we keep the new system or revert back to the old system. To begin implementing the new referral system I will follow these steps:
- Prioritise any necessary changes in order of relation to each other to ensure a seamless change over to the new system
- Apply to the local PCT for a radiograph scanner
- Learn how to use the new software
- Plan a meeting (minutes of which to be recorded) with team members to explain and show the new system.
- Allocate all dentists and nurses with a log-on and ensure each surgery does their own referrals.
Once the new system is up and running, my role will be to communicate any changes to the system to my colleagues and encourage them all to send referrals via this new system. I will continue to monitor the referral system and ensure referrals are being triaged and accepted correctly and that any rejected referrals are followed up by the relevant dentist. For any external support that I require with the system I will contact the.