Closing the Cross-institutional Referral Loop: Applying Human Factors to Improve Consultation Notes
Objective: Although referrals for specialty consultations are a core clinical process, they are prone to coordination and communication breakdowns that have led to adverse clinical outcomes. This project’s objective is to improve timely documentation, transmission, access, and quality of consultation notes across healthcare systems.
Methods: The first aim is to characterize clinical workflows and information flow during cross-institutional referrals. The second aim is to develop and test a prototype leveraging electronic health information exchange (HIE) to increase closing the loop for cross-institutional referrals and improve the quality of consultation notes. To accomplish these aims, we will use human factors engineering.
Results: Our results will inform the design and integration of clinician-facing technologies into clinical workflows to close the referral loop and improve care coordination. We will provide quantitative evidence about the quality of cross-institutional referrals, inform the eventual implementation of our prototype, and identify user interface features required for successful electronic health information exchange.
Impact: With the use of human factors engineering to improve health information exchange, clinicians will have timely access to consultation notes, which would support clinical decision-making and continuity of care.