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How to Manage Behavioral Health Referrals

female medical professional explaining how to manage behavioral health referrals

Better referral management is an important aspect of improving tools for behavioral health clinical directors. A good, well-organized referral program is crucial to the success of your organization. By building strong relationships with other healthcare providers and specialists and putting the right referral system in place, you can manage addiction and mental health treatment referrals in a way that gives your clients the best care possible.

Develop a Strong Resource Database for Referrals

A database helps you assess how well your behavioral health referral program meets your organization’s and clients’ needs. Your database can provide digital tracking for the following:

  • The sources of each referral
  • The time it takes to schedule appointments with specific specialists
  • The time gap between when a patient confirms an appointment and when the appointment takes place
  • How often patients miss appointments
  • How quickly specialists send patients feedback after appointments

You can identify improvement opportunities when your data is easy to see and understand. For instance, by looking at the time it takes to schedule appointments with each specialist, you can more easily identify which providers will be available for new patients. By examining the time gap between scheduling and appointments, you can evaluate where you may need to adapt to give patients shorter wait times.

Organize and Integrate Communication Systems

Managing addiction and mental health treatment referrals becomes easier when internal office communication procedures flow smoothly. A patient referral form should be easy for a doctor to complete while including all the essential information about the patient’s needs and availability. One of the easiest ways to streamline referral paperwork is with an integrated behavioral health software system, where a primary care physician and a specialist can easily communicate information to one another. That way, when the client shows up for their specialist appointment, the specialist already has the new client’s health details and can save valuable time.

Integrated software systems have many other bonuses for efficiency. They reduce long wait times for patients, cut down on time spent transferring information between different healthcare practices, and lessen the administrative burden on staff members. Simplifying a few processes can save a lot of time in the long run.

Streamline Referral Structures to Improve Patient Experiences

The main beneficiaries of a robust system for managing addiction and mental health referrals are your patients and their health outcomes. Good referral software can:

  • Allow patients to schedule appointments at convenient times for them, which makes them more likely to attend
  • Eliminate any duplication in tests or procedures, and save money
  • Minimize delays in tests, procedures, and appointments
  • Reduce miscommunication between different health providers on the patient’s journey

Moreover, a referral system can help you use a value-based care model to track patient outcomes. With end-to-end communication, it’s easier to see if patients have experienced the positive outcomes that are rewarded in value-based care.

Sunwave Health Offers Tools to Manage Referrals

Sunwave Health’s customer relationship management (CRM) software includes built-in procedures to organize referral information in a way that’s easy to use and up-to-date. Our program lets you trace the referral sources of your admissions, see all your clients at once, and keep track of their appointments. The CRM software is designed to save clinical directors time and energy. Information can flow easily between each partner in a patient’s treatment, with all the data organized seamlessly on a single platform. You’ll save money and time by taking administrative labor out of the equation, and so will your patients.

Take your behavioral health referral program to the next level by reaching out online or calling 561.576.6037 to learn more about what we offer.