BI-DIRECTIONAL REFERRAL SYSTEM
A bi-directional referral system considers both the information going from the health care system to the referred community program or resource (e.g., a CDC recognized lifestyle change program or a diabetes self-management education program) and the information returning from that program to the health care system. Ideally, the bi-directional referral system will be integrated with an electronic health record (EHR) system and will facilitate electronic bi-directional feedback between the community program and the health care system (e-referral system.) An e-referral system can provide baseline reports on the number of referrals, number of services received, and number of pounds lost and when integrated with the EHR, health systems can evaluate the impact of these community programs on population health. With this information community-based organizations can make the case for clinically meaningful and cost-effective programming.