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Huge differences in Hospital Group e-referral rates

The information from eHealth Ireland reveals Ireland East had the highest number of e-referrals nationally in September, with 4,923.

The lowest number of e-referrals occurred at the Children’s Hospital Group, with 617 e-referrals, followed by UL with 1,408.

At the RCSI Hospitals Group, 4,800 e-referrals were recorded, while 4,200 occurred at the South/South West Hospital Group.

The Saolta and Dublin Midlands Hospital Groups both had approximately 4,000 referrals in September.

The e-referral rate for general surgery per hospital shows that in May, Cavan General Hospital had the highest rate in the country, at 88 per cent, followed by Kerry University Hospital, at 75 per cent.

The e-referral rate by individual hospital, ie, the percentage of all outpatient referrals that are received electronically via Healthlink, shows Kerry University Hospital is the top e-referring hospital nationally, followed by the Rotunda Hospital.

Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin; the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital; and National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght, are among the bottom e-referring hospitals nationally.

Hospitals with a low number of specialties enabled for e-referrals tend to have low percentage e-referral rates, eHealth Ireland said.

Meanwhile, the number of GPs using e-referrals continues to increase, the data shows. Monthly general e-referral usage by GPs in September was at its highest ever, at almost 2,300.

The number of general e-referrals continues to grow and represented 31 per cent of all referrals for outpatient services in August.

In June, July and August, over 64 per cent of GPs had used e-referrals and in August, 81 per cent had used the service at least once.

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