Managing Patient Referrals with Less Staff and Money

February 21, 2022

3 ways eConsults reduce cost for patients and support improving patient satisfaction image

When the patient referrals add up, you realize that sometimes it takes a crisis to force us to consider other options. One of the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic for physician practices is the need for primary care physicians to refer patients to specialists is increasing. At the same time, the resources (staff and money) with which to accomplish the tasks are diminished. The traditional primary care to specialist referral process is very labor intensive, requiring multiple telephone calls and faxes. An alternative to consider is to automate the referral process through a cloud-based program. Adopting a cloud-based referral s such as AristaMD’s solution is a cost-efficient and effective way to facilitate making and receiving patient referrals.

Referral management can completely eliminate the need to have telephone calls or faxes between your offices and the referring physicians.

Some of the Benefits to Referring Physicians include:

  • Online referrals
  • Cloud-based, no special software necessary for either referring office or yours
  • Automatic acknowledgments of the referral to:
    • The patient
      The referring physician’s office
  • A text to the patient telling them to expect and accept your phone call to set up the appointment.
  • Audit trail of all interactions with referring physicians and patients.
  • Referring physician can attach medical records, labs and X-rays
  • HIPAA Compliant

What if you are a specialist practice needing to receive cost-effective referrals? The same software enables you to no longer need someone in your office to answer the phone and take down detailed information from referring physicians. It is all automated in the cloud. No need for faxes or checking insurance eligibility.

Some of the Benefits to Specialty Practices are:

  • Receive referrals online.
  • No phone calls or faxes from referring practices
  • Cloud-based, no special software necessary
  • Receive medical records, labs and X-rays electronically
  • Automatic Insurance Verification
  • Automatic electronic notification to the referring physician that the appointment is scheduled.
  • HIPAA Compliant
  • I recommend that every physician practice should convert to a cloud-based referral system.


Author: Thomas H. Stearns, FACMPE

Mr. Stearns FACMPE is retired. After serving as a Medical Service Corps Officer in the US Army, he entered Clinic Management in 1976. Over the next 20 years, he managed two orthopedic practices in Middle Tennessee. In 1996, he started the Medical Practice Services Department at SVMIC. Tom has served as Chair of the American College of Medical Practice Executives, MGMA Board of Directors, and Former Chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Executives.