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Interprofessional Communication in Chronic Disease Management
Tip Sheet for Allied Health Professionals
- Keep concise, to the point and consistent
- Suggest, rather than instruct, course of treatment
- Use electronic systems where practicable and in line with the Privacy and Standards for e-health (e.g. do not share clinically sensitive information using emails that are not secure)
- Ensure that the referring GP is notified if a patient misses appointments; this could have implications for patient outcomes and for requirements under Medicare Australia
- Use written information rather than relying on verbal communication, and retain a copy for your own records
- Reports to GPs
- Use a structured layout so the relevant information can be easily found
- Provide critical identifiers (e.g. patient name; DOB) and customised information, including expected treatment, specific health-related information and socially important information (e.g. comorbidities, family histories, drug/alcohol intake levels etc)
- Use a unique patient identifier as agreed between healthcare providers, especially if e-communications is not appropriate or not available
- Where possible include other relevant information. For example, new research or evidence-based treatment relevant to the patient's condition.
- Include the planned process - 'The recommended plan from here is ....'
- Ask for the patient to be referred back if a particular symptom occurs (i.e. what red flags should GPs look for)
- Include your own findings rather than repeat information the GP sent in the first place (e.g. In addition to the history you have provided, I have also noted the following ....')
- General Practice Networks
- Where possible, register with your local general practice network (GPN). GPs often contact their GPN when trying to locate an AHP and some GPNs develop local directories of healthcare providers. Many GPNs also run networking events to bring GPs and AHPs in the area together.
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