top of page
a blog by Chris Barrow

Med-engage – a guest blog

Simple secure online referral

Do we need a new way of referring?

I think so. A few years ago I started to think about what made me a loyal customer of Invisalign. Several systems were emerging with good products offering much lower prices, so why wasn’t I buying? I realised that the USP of Invisalign was no longer its product, it’s was the way it delivered the product. With Invisalign I had a well organised portal which effectively managed all my cases and kept me in the loop when I needed to action anything. It was reliable and made life easy for me and none of the other companies could give me the real time information and sense of control that I had with Invisalign.

At the same time I was getting increasingly frustrated with my experience of referring patients to specialists. The process was really chaotic involving a letter, fax or email depending on the specialist or department. The specialist’s reception will respond (or not) in a variety of different media and you have little opportunity for input. Then another frustration, I referred a patient to a periodontist for assessment of extensive recession to help with the case planning for a rehabilitation. The patient returned a year later with six shiny new implants in the upper arch…. I had no system of tracking my referrals and was stunned to see my plan had been completed elsewhere. The result of these frustrations was that I just referred much less if I could get away with it. It’s not a conscious decision but “Lets re-visit this at your next check-up” just seemed a whole lot easier.

About that time I was also slowly building a list of implant referrers and started to see some real frustrations from the other side. I was receiving referrals by text, email, phone call. Questions about cases and opinions ended up getting managed on the phone or email without any notes that could be considered a clinical record. I was receiving inappropriate referrals, patients traveling a long way to be sent back or on to someone else.

So it was a busy time for me and I really felt we needed something new here. I wanted to get rid of these frustrations from both sides of the process. I sat down and made a list of absolute requirements for an online referral system and set about building it. In collaboration with some talented software developers we established Codestream was set up to take on healthcare software projects and use the income to fund our referral platform build. The med-engage project was off the ground. Since then we have built and rebuilt, tested and retested until we have what I believe is a perfectly simple, aesthetically pleasing, encrypted and secure, online referral platform.

Since setting up the system in my own practice I have at least tripled the number of orthodontic cases that I send out because it’s so much easier, quicker and we can chat about the case progress with ease. My incoming referral practice now takes up 70-80 % of my clinical time. Success……but I didn’t set up this website just for me, it is accessible to all dentists to create and find your own network of referrers, colleagues and specialists.

So here is where you come in. Would you like to know how this would fit with your practice? Do you have your own list of absolute requirements? We need your feedback because we want to build your perfect platform. Do you want to discuss how this could benefit you or what you think we need to do to get you on board? Please create your free account here have a look around and come for a chat at the showcase to let me know your thoughts.

Many thanks and thanks Chris

Ben Molyneux

Key Features:

High level data security

One account to organise and manage all referrals both in and out

Manage cases from a mobile phone

Admin access for coordinator or receptionist

Email notification of activity

Share photos, Xrays, scans and documents

Easy download of all data into practice management software

As quick and easy as sending an email

Other benefits to consider and explore

Searchable Database Add your personal or practice Biography to become searchable by colleagues. You are one step closer to your new referrers. General dentists find specialists in your area for onward referral and collaboration.

Invite Add all of you existing connections to your account with a single invite.

Document Builder Build customised and signed pdf documents and treatment plans with images and X-rays from your own bank of templates.

Umbrella access referral centres administrator account gives access to all specialists in the practice.

Multi practice specialists if you are a visiting specialist with several practices you will especially appreciate the value of access to all your notes for all your patients 24/7

0 views0 comments


bottom of page