How do medical professionals or other therapists refer patients to you? Have you created a secure enough means that they can comfortably and securely include treatment details when they refer? Have you made it easy for another provider to put you in touch with a referred patient, to coordinate the referral? If not, there are likely a lot of referrals that never make it to your waiting room.
Mental health referrals from medical providers have a notoriously low follow-through rate. This is in part due to the stigma that exists regarding mental health services, worsened by the unwillingness of most providers to coordinate communication with the patient about these services. Typical website contact forms are simply not secure enough for other providers to send treatment details through (even with an SSL certificate), meaning good coordination requires a phone call. In order for your website to have a HIPAA compliant intake form, it must include multiple security features including encryption during transmission, at rest and during delivery. A website form that sends you an email would put the referring provider at risk of violating the privacy rule if they include “protected health information” such as the diagnosis or reason for referral.
One of the most useful features of EarlyByrd is the inclusion of our secure Website Widget, which simplifies HIPAA compliance dramatically. This widget replaces your staff biography pages, and includes secure referral and messaging forms for all of your providers. The same secure forms allow general referrals to your practice, without a specified provider, as well as inquiries from the public that visit your site.
EarlyByrd’s Website Widget was designed specifically to allow for stronger communication and collaboration between the referring professional and the mental health provider receiving the referral. All of the data in the referral is encrypted in the manner required by HIPAA, and none of that data is emailed (though you do receive an email notification when a referral is submitted). This allows you to assure referral sources that they can include any and all information necessary for a closely coordinated referral. Most importantly, you are aware of ALL referrals made to you, including the ones that didn’t call, allowing for follow-up with the referring provider.
If you are an EarlyByrd subscriber, the secure website widget is included with your account. The request assistance with embedding into your practice website, simply submit a customer support ticket through the help center and we’ll help you improve your intake process with this powerful and innovative referral tool.