Practical innovations: Technology-Assisted referrals

Alan L. Brankline, Christina M. Coyle, Kathleen A. Jencks, Anoma Mullegama, Michael W. O’Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Patients in the acute care setting often require referrals for post-hospital care. Before 2003, charts were copied manually and faxed to each nursing home separately, which was labor intensive, created delays, depended on legible notes, and did not ensure patient confidentiality. Social workers at our institution, in collaboration with 21 area nursing homes, successfully developed a program to streamline this process by using the electronic medical record and computer-assisted faxing. The patient's medical record (history/physical, nursing notes, pharmacy record, and therapy notes) was able to be transmitted quickly. This technology-assisted referral system had positive and successful outcomes, such as decreased length of stay, which resulted in an estimated cost savings of $2,008,512 per year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-776
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Discharge delays
  • Electronic medical record
  • Nursing home
  • Skilled care facility
  • Social work referral
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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