Health Services Internal Referrals


Impact Statement: 
Missoula City-County Health Department in Montana drastically increased its reach to clients who are eligible for its Health Services programs by improving program referral processes for existing clients. As a result, the health department can much better serve eligible women, infants, and children.

Missoula City-County Health Department’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Maternal Child Health (MCH); and Outpatient Clinic (OPC) programs all serve women, infants, and children. However, the programs have different eligibility requirements, provide distinct sets of services, and have their own entry points. The quality improvement (QI) team felt comfortable assuming that all three programs would benefit from a QI effort to increase the number of documented internal referrals among all three programs. 

Documented internal client referrals among all three programs increased by 975% as a result of the QI work. Each program established its own protocol to institutionalize the process for internal referrals. Moreover, the number of referrals among all programs is monitored by one staff member and reported to all programs monthly.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Missoula City-County Health Department

VanDomelen, A. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Health Services Internal Referrals. Wed, 11/15/2017 - 10:28. Available at Accessed April 20, 2024.

Submission Status: 
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