Referral letters

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Dr Mark Hassed

In many offices that I visit I often see the dentists staying back after work or through their lunch hour to write referral letters to specialists.

Personally, I don’t think that is a good or productive use of time and with some training of your team it can be done away with completely.

In my office how I would want referrals to specialists handled is like this.

During the patient’s appointment I would note the need for referral and say to the patient something like this: “That infected wisdom tooth needs to come out but it’s very close to the nerve so I’d like to send you to a specialist oral surgeon to get it done.”

From that point forward the team handle everything. They:

  • Make the appointment at the specialist’s office for the patient.
  • They forward the appropriate x-rays
  • They write the referral letter and leave it on my desk for signing (or, even better, they email the specialist)
  • They follow up with the patient to make sure all went well

Handled in this way referrals become easy and I don’t have to stay back after work or work through my lunch hour.

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