Rachel Stokes investigates how
Although the nation remains firmly ensconced in lockdown 3.0, there are at last signs of reopening and recover on the horizon. And it can’t come soon enough. Referrals to health and wellbeing services have taken a 77% nose-dive since the pandemic began. So, is it that people no longer need referrals to be physically active or gain support for lifestyle concerns? Absolutely not. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.
In the current situation, it is understandable that national rollout of the COVID-19 immunisation takes priority for primary care professionals. This, coupled with potentially more serious disease such as chronic heart disease and cancers going undetected means GPs and practice nurses are working around the clock to meet additional demand.
Many exercise referral services have adapted their offer in order to continue safely, offering a blended approach of telephone, text and email support alongside video exercise sessions, live online classes and even outdoor classes. But due to the pressures on primary care professionals outlined above, many services are experiencing lower than normal referral rates.
If this is you, there is no better time to re-visit your referral pathway.
As we know, direct referrals from primary or secondary healthcare are the traditional route in. However, an increasing number of our customers have successfully implemented online referral forms and now accept self-referrals. As a ReferAll customer, you can be assured that any online forms you offer and the information provided is securely submitted to your service via our platform.
Here’s how it works:
1. Use our API to develop your own webform, host it on your website and let local people know that they can self-refer via your marketing and social media platforms. Alternatively, you could commission us to build and host the online form – whichever you’d prefer.
2. You could also share the link with your existing referring partners, so they can securely – and simply – submit a referral to your service.
3. We can assist you with designing your webform to include a referring partners section, if required.
From 23rd March 2020 to 22nd February 2021 our customers have had 11,661 referrals submitted using one of our self-referral methods. We could argue that, without these methods, referrals might not have been made. For the Scheme Administrators who are currently facing their own time-based challenges this method combined has saved more than 40 hours in administration time.
What's more, our handy feature Referral Requests allows you to quickly process self-referrals from a 'holding bay' to manage access to your service (in case of medical exclusions or other service criteria).
It's often easier to continue doing things the way you’ve always done. However, now might be the right time to take a fresh look at your referral pathway. It could potentially save hours of administration time, as well as giving your referral rate a much-needed boost in these challenging times.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us via any of our channels. Our offices may be closed but we are all still here, working from home to support you through this crisis in any way we can.