QI Leaders Academy Kaizen Program: Referral to Care


Impact Statement: 
Staff at Deschutes County Health Services (DCHS) recognized that they had so many different programs in operation that it was difficult for staff to make all the appropriate referrals for clients. They did a QI project, and their improvement hypothesis targeted three areas: knowledge, workflow, and measurement. The hypothesis stated that if the QI team creates a document of the services provided and eligibility requirements for programs, and makes this information available to all DCHS staff, then staff will be able to evaluate and make referral recommendations regardless of their experience level. The QI team created an electronic internal referral system, and clients now experience improved service coordination between DCHS's three divisions and access to a broader array of needed services. In addition, DCHS's staff satisfaction and number of internal referrals have increased.

DCHS launched an electronic internal referral system on November 2, 2015, and a services directory on October 1, 2015. The referral system, standardized process, and services directory have been created to educate staff on the variety of services available to their clients, and to improve and standardize interdepartmental customer referrals. This process allows the Public Health and Behavioral Health divisions to efficiently and rapidly respond to clients who present with health concerns in another program and to effectively assist customers in navigating other appropriate department services. This process helps clients receive consistency of experience and quality care, increases the number of integrated interdepartmental referrals across and within DCHS, and increases efficiency and collaboration of services. The process also helps to provide consistency of experience for clients and the community. This process will enable more fully integrated community health services and enhance the customer service experience.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 

Lindsay, C. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. QI Leaders Academy Kaizen Program: Referral to Care. Tue, 05/24/2016 - 22:32. Available at http://www.phqix.org/content/qi-leaders-academy-kaizen-program-referral-care. Accessed April 20, 2024.

Submission Status: 
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Submitted by margyrob on

I would be interested to know more about the electronic referral system.  Did you have to create a new system or were you able to more efficiently use a system that already existed?  

0 users have voted.

Margy Robinson MPH
HIV Care Services Mgr.
Multnomah County Health Dept.
Portland, OR

Submitted by Channa Lindsay on

We used SharePoint to create an internal referral process. Although this did not previously exist in SharePoint, our IT department helped create the form and workflow in SharePoint. 

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Channa Lindsay