Writing a referral letter to a psychiatrist
An introductory section to the referral letter with check-off points about essential information was also suggested. Suggested content of referral letters to specialised mental health care.
Discussion The findings of referral study identify referral letter information seen as important when referring a patient to specialised mental health care. An introduction with seven check-off points on essential information also evolved during this study. In contrast to many other efforts to define a standard for content of referral letters, we chose to invite the patients, the management and the professionals to give their perspective into the referral letter evaluation process.
Since the referral letter is a communication means mainly between GPs and specialists, it can be argued that doctors are the only ones who are able to discern the type of information it should contain. However, there is increased focus on the importance of the patient perspective to aid in understanding and improving the quality of health care [ 923 ].
Another important aspect is health care management including knowledge about economic and legal opportunities and boundaries. Studies showing disagreement on appropriateness of referrals and the content of referral letters between stakeholders in the referral process support a comprehensive sampling [ 1112 ]. We argue that the inclusion of all three perspectives gives a fuller description of the health care process and as such increases the validity of the results. The groups were mixed to increase the richness of the data.
Yet, there is the risk that the asymmetrical distribution of power that can be found within health care services could be maintained in the groups. To offset this possible asymmetry, and based on advice from patient representatives, we aimed at including at least two patient representatives in each group, but because of mitigating circumstances, achieved this in only two of the four groups. Article source, the large amount of input from the go representatives gives us reason to believe that the effort to create a balance of power in the groups was successful.
The definition of quality in health care, which forms the basis for the sampling method, is valid for all health care and therefore strengthens the generalisability of the findings. However, legislation, tradition and culture can affect which information is seen as important in a referral letter.
The participants in this study were selected for their extensive experience and interest in the subject, and though this gave indepth writing a referral letter to a psychiatrist into the topic, it can also at times be a barrier to innovative ideas and criticism within the topic. Another limitation in the study can be the type of services and professions represented in the sample. Other services such as unemployment agencies or social services may have information that could alter the results regarding assessment of important referral letter content.
We argue that the results of this study are generalisable to writing a referral letter to a psychiatrist care systems similar to that of Norway. The method that we used to define the recommended content of referral letters, however, we argue is generalisable to health care in general.
However, our study suggests more emphasis on the professional network, in which specialised health care is only one element. For instance, our informants thought information about services and interventions that the patient receives and about the overall care plan are important health care elements to convey when referring a patient to specialised mental health care. In contrast, the study on referral letters within mental health by Shaw and colleagues supports our patient focus findings [ regerral ].
The specific need for information regarding integrated care and patient involvement for patients with mental disorders highlights the need for a separate guideline for the content of referral letters within mental health care. However, it is noteworthy that similar information requirements have been found in other groups of patients who require shared or integrated care, such as the elderly [ 4 ]. Thorsen and colleagues defined three types of referral letters: Care for people that are referred to specialist mental health care usually requires cooperation between this service and primary health care [ 2 ].
Referral letters for these patients are therefore often a request for mutual responsibility for writing a referral letter to a psychiatrist period of time. Further research should explore if our results are valid for patients that are in need of integrated or shared psycuiatrist regardless of the diagnosis. Optimal prioritisation of patients to ensure sufficient accessibility to specialised mental health care is important referral patient safety. However, the structures and processes involved to support this are complex [ 26 ]. The present study focuses on one part expected to be relevant; the need for source information to prioritise among patients.
Get a printable copy PDF file of the complete article Kor click on a page image below to browse page by page. An introduction with seven check-off points on essential information also evolved during this study. Care for people that are referred to specialist mental health care usually requires cooperation between this service and primary health care [ 2 ]. Kvamme OJ, Olesen F, Samuelson M. However, factors other than the content of referral letters can affect the setting of priorities, such as acquaintance with the referring GP [ 27 ]. The LESSON I LEARNED:
It suggests that there is some information seen as important when referring a patient to mental health care not emphasised in a general referral letter form. However, factors other than the content of referral letters can affect the setting of priorities, such as acquaintance with the referring GP [ 27 ].
Recognising that there may be many factors affecting the accessibility of specialised mental health care, the present study should be seen as one step in exploring best practices for one of ariting factors. Future research should emphasise exploration of the referral process in the following areas: Conclusion In this study, we have explored the information that a referral letter to specialised mental health should include. We have revealed some important elements of patient information and care that are not aspects of general referral letter forms. The recommended set of introductory check-off points can serve as a checklist for GPs when writing a referral letter and can outline essential information for specialists.
However, it is important to evaluate if or to what degree high quality referral letters, according to the results of this study, lether the outcomes for patients and the organisation, and if they have a positive impact on the accessibility of specialised health care for the patients most in need. Competing interest No competing interests are declared for writing a referral letter to a psychiatrist of the authors. OT took part in the analysis. EB writjng the interviews, while KV made contributions to the development of the protocol together with BC. AA supervised and made important contributions during the study process.
All authors have contributed during the writing and publishing process, and have approved the final manuscript. In addition, we would like to thank the local Praksiskonsulentordningen PKO, Practice Consultant System for their help with participant inclusion. Source of funding Research Network on Integrated Health Care in Western Norway, Helse Fonna HF, Haugesund, Norway.
References World Health Organisation. The global burden of disease Update. Case management in mental health.
Sometimes I even called the family because none of the collateral info is getting me anywhere and then the family's all upset "she's depressed? Research Methods in Health, investigating health and health services. Optimal prioritisation of psychistrist to ensure sufficient accessibility to specialised mental health care is important to patient safety. Abstract This study investigated the style of referral letter that psychiatrists would like to receive from general practitioners.
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Early was a referral letter psychiatrist a writing to sorry
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Letter a referral psychiatrist to writing a you write
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