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GP referrals

Central Referral Hub

Phone: (07) 4226 1181   Fax: (07) 4226 1188 (clinicians only)  Email: TCHHS-Referral-Intake@health.qld.gov.au


Referrals and requirements

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service has general and specific referral requirements aligned with the state-wide Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC) for specialist outpatient services and allied health outpatient services.

Referring health providers will find referral criteria and contact information on Far North Queensland (FNQ) HealthPathways.

How to send referrals

Send all referrals to the Torres and Cape Central Referral Hub via GP Smart Referrals, fax (07) 4226 5627 or email TCHHS-Referral-Intake@health.qld.gov.au. Read referral process for your patient for more details.

For more support visit the GP Referrals Frequently Asked Questions page.

What is the Central Referral Hub?

The Torres and Cape Central Referral Hub (CRH) helps build a patient-centred, dynamic and sustainable multidisciplinary service to improve access to the right service, at the right time; using an integrated partnership approach between community, primary and secondary care.

The CRH is the single point of entry for all referrals to:

  • Specialist;
  • Allied Health; and
  • Nurse Outpatients.

CRH aims to ensure only high-quality referrals containing all essential information are transferred to the Specialty for assessment and categorisation.  This will ensure the patient is ready for care at their first appointment and all preliminary investigations have been completed prior to the appointment.

The CRH use Smart Referrals workflow solution to manage the intake, tracking and triage of referrals received within the Hub.

What is HealthPathways?

FNQ HealthPathways aims to be the most up-to-date hospital referral guideline and provides clinical management advice for referring health providers.

HealthPathways are designed to be used at the point of care, primarily for general practitioners but it also available to hospital specialists, nurses, allied health and other health professionals within Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

The pathways have been jointly developed by consensus and collaboration between hospital clinicians and general practice teams.

Referral guidelines (minimal)

Referrals must be in writing and as a minimum contain the following, as this will assist in a thorough assessment of the referral to ensure appropriate categorisation and appointment scheduling.

If the referral does not contain sufficient information to accurately categorise the level of clinical urgency, it cannot be accepted and will be returned for further.

Patient’s Demographic Details

  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Telephone contact number(s) – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

Referring Practitioner Details

  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature

Relevant clinical information about the condition

  • Presenting symptoms
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use

Reason for request

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can’t order, or the patient can’t afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reasons (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary

Clinical modifiers

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

Other relevant information

  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, WorkCover, Motor Vehicle Insurance etc.)

Additional requirements

Individual specialties may require additional information to assist with assessment, diagnosis and treatment.  Should this be the case we will notify you in writing with details of the additional information required.

Referral process for your patient

When we receive your referral

If the referral does not contain essential referral information to accurately triage and categorise the level of clinical urgency, it cannot be accepted and will be returned to the referring clinician for further details.

Referrals received by the Central Referral Hub will be assessed using the Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC).  Referrals are categorised based on the Queensland Health criteria for allocation of clinical urgency categories (CPC).

Once the referral has been categorised, the patient is added to the waitlist and will receive a phone call or letter about their appointment.

After you refer your patient

Changes to your patient’s clinical status

Please maintain clinical supervision of your patient’s condition prior to the initial consultation with the specialist.

Please notify the hospital in writing of any changes to the patient’s clinical status and fax or email this to the Central Referral Hub.  The need for re-categorisation will then be considered.

Shared ongoing management

Specialists at our clinics may request copies of your patient’s pathology tests from the lab to be sent directly to you.

GP Smart Referrals

What are GP Smart Referrals?

Smart Referrals are digital referrals integrated with Best Practice and Medical Director software to enable faster, streamlined referrals to Queensland public hospitals.

Smart Referrals make it quicker and easier for General Practitioners (GPs) to refer patients for specialist outpatient services ensuring referrals will be sent to the right place, first time and with all the essential referral information needed to accurately categorise.

Key features and benefits

Condition specific templates that auto-populate required test results from the patient file in the Practice Management Software to assist GPs to provide the essential referral information. This ensures nothing is missed, no rework or double handling and saves practice unnecessary administrative time.

  • An easy way to attach documents from the computer or clinical software. The system is capable of accepting large files (up to 25MB) and a variety of file types (e.g. images, PDF, Word documents from clinical record or computer).
  • A comprehensive service directory that lists locations where services are offered and estimated wait times.
  • Track and receive electronic updates into your Practice Management Software about where the referral is at along the continuum.
  • Integrates with HealthPathways.

Smart Referrals provides online capacity to facilitate the seamless receipt, registration and triage of specialist outpatient referrals allowing for improved referral communication, workflow efficiency, and streamlined processing.

Smart Referrals are a Queensland Health initiative and an important step in digital healthcare, creating a connected modern health system for Queenslanders.

Expression of Interest

If you are located or offer GP services within the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health and would like to express your interest in implementing GP Smart Referrals within you practice, please contact us at TCHHS-Clinical-Coordination@health.qld.gov.au.

Support Information

Please call your internal IT support team or Smart Referrals statewide technical support line on 1300 478 439.

Training materials (user manuals, quick reference guides and videos) are available on the Smart Referrals website.

The Viewer (Health Provider Portal)

The Viewer (HPP) is a Queensland Health read-only online application for Queensland General Practitioners (GPs) to access patient information and is a key initiative of the Specialist Outpatient Strategy (PDF 2842 kB) to improve the patient journey.

It provides consolidated clinical information about each patient who receives treatment or care at a Queensland Health facility, taken from a number of Queensland Health clinical and administrative systems, such as pathology results, radiology results, medications, allergies and alerts, care plans, as well as discharge summaries.

Benefits

The Viewer (HPP) will:

  • Provide real-time and accurate access to medical information.
  • Reduce duplication of diagnostic testing.
  • Help ensure more consistent, timely and coordinated care.

How to access

The Viewer (HPP) require a QGOV Login account as well as having a registered current and active profession practice details.

Visit Register for access to the Health Provider Portal for more details.

What is visible to GPs

Patient detailsDemographics including contact information e.g. personal and regular GP

A problem list outlining emergency, inpatient and mental health diagnoses

Occasions of careOccasions of care

Emergency presentations including clinical notes

Oncology cases including care plan

PathologyPathology Queensland reports and orders

QH ordered medical imagingRadiology reports

Clinical Echocardiogram reports e.g. sonogram of the heart

Images associated with reports e.g. X-ray, MRI and CT scan

ProceduresOperation notes

Clinical Cardiology reports e.g. coronary artery bypass

Clinical endoscopy reports e.g. colonoscopy

Adverse Reactions and AlertsAdverse reactions – harmful or undesirable responses to an agent e.g. allergic reaction, intolerance and sensitivity

Alerts – information that may need consideration when delivering care

Additional documentationVarious documents that assist health professionals care for patients’ e.g. Statement of Choices form outlines patient wishes and can be used to guide medical decisions

National health informationMy Health Record

Mater Doctor PortalPatient information on limited Mater Children’s Hospital admission prior to November 2014

Contact

Please email general questions or feedback to connectingqld@health.qld.gov.au.

For technical assistance please call 1300 478 439.

Last updated: 10 February 2022