Data Shows That a Better System is Needed For Managing Physician Referrals


According to a report in the Annals of Family Medicine, 45 percent of physicians receive new patients through doctor referrals yearly.

63% of referring physicians are dissatisfied with the current referral process due to a lack of timeliness of information and inadequate referral letter content. Substantial problems are present in the referral process. Physician-to-physician communication is important for any outpatient referral. Improvements in the referral management system could improve both physician satisfaction and the quality of patient care. Better communication is needed in order to determine the best ways to improve it. Beneficial changes include automating referral communication and letter generation through computerized referral applications.



One out of every three patients are sent to a specialist each year.

In the United States, more than a third of patients are referred to a specialist each year. Indeed, specialist consultations constitute more than half of all outpatient visits. There are breakdowns and inefficiencies in all components of the specialty-referral process. Despite many promising mechanisms to improve the referral process, rigorous evaluations of these improvements are needed. These frustrations, along with a desire to lower costs, has led to the implementation of numerous strategies to improve the entire process, such as using gatekeepers and/or referral guidelines.



25 to 50% of referring physicians do not know whether or not their patients see the specialist.

Keeping track of your referral is an important task for the referring physician in order to make sure that the referral is completed. Studies have found that 25 to 50% of referring physicians have no proper feedback on whether or not their patients saw the specialist to which they were referred.



70% of specialists rate the patient referral information they receive from other providers as fair or poor.

Physicians vary in their threshold for referring a patient. Many referrals do not include a transfer of information to/from the specialist. It also often contains insufficient data for medical decision making. Physicians often do not know whether a patient went to the specialist, or what the specialist recommended.



Approximately one-quarter of U.S. patients reported that the results and records from one provider did not reach another provider in time for their appointment.

The poor communication between physicians can lead to improper care. The fact that one in four patients have to reiterate their medical care to multiple providers is detrimental to quality, affordable health care. It is called “duplicate care” and often a consequence of a poor referral management system.



Learn How The Chiasm Can Help

The Chiasm is a revolutionary new physician referral management system that allows physicians to refer patients, connect with other physicians, and keep track of referral and patient information. You can even opt to list your practice in our directory and get featured in our newsletter. 

Learn more about how The Chiasm can help you improve efficiency and grow your business, all while delivering better quality of care. We offer three convenient pricing plans — just choose the one that best suits your needs and then sign up to get started. Not convinced? You can also get to know our platform better by signing up for a free demo