Online Referrals

Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities is excited to officially announce its new online referral system. The new secure and completely HIPAA-compliant form is an excellent option for professionals and community members to make referrals for individuals that may need services, supports, or even community resources to help them stay safe and healthy at home.

Carla Bayonnet RN, MSN Aging and Disability Resource Center Supervisor, is excited for the new process: “An effective web-based referral system ensures a close relationship between all levels of the health system and ensures that our community members receive the best possible community options fast and close to home.” She also is appreciative that the effects of the online referrals stems farther than the Resource Center, as “utilizing these technology platforms in a hybrid-based care model is a cost-effective use of state and federal funding options in a community-based setting.”

“In our online world it makes perfect sense to offer an easy-to-use web-based referral form,” said Gary Cook, President and CEO of Direction Home. “This new system will make referrals to our office faster and connect the referrer with follow up that provides feedback on outcomes.”

The most convenient part of the new online referral system is that it offers users 24/7 access to the Agency’s “front door.” Ordinarily, callers are restricted to an 8AM-5PM timeframe on Monday-Friday to make their referrals through the Aging and Disability Resource Center. The online referrals will hopefully serve as an option for professionals in the new hybrid or flexible work world that otherwise may be unable to call during the typical workday, or even for those that may not feel comfortable speaking with someone over the phone.

Additionally, the online referrals will save the screeners valuable time by reducing the number of calls inquiring about what preliminary information is needed for the referral process. There is still an option to make a referral by emailing, but in many cases those emails will not capture all the needed information. The online referral forms are all-inclusive so that Resource Center staff do not have to continuously email referrers after the first contact is made.


Closed Loop Referrals

An exciting new feature of the online referral process is the closed-loop feedback availability for medical professionals. To better increase the coordination of care for services, we created a process to unite screeners, assessors, medical professionals, and referred individuals. The closed-loop system allows professionals to make referrals and track them over time, providing a HIPAA-compliant way to provide better care planning.

Follow-up forms will communicate to referring professionals as the referral moves along within the Agency. They will be informed about whether an individual was provided resources, if and when the assessment was completed, visit status, and will even be informed if the Agency was unable to contact the individual. Furthermore, program eligibility will be communicated as well as any next steps. Having a comprehensive cycle of communication will increase the coordination of services between health teams, creating better outcomes for both the referred individual and for medical professionals alike.