Form letters have been found to be shorter and contain more information than non-form letters. In Sri Lanka referral letters are usually hand written and frequent complaints are that these letters do not contain adequate information and retrieval of information is a problem due to poor legibility and clarity.
A well-written referral can make all the difference when a patient visits a specialist, and show a level of care and expertise on the part of the referring clinician.
To address these short comings this form letter was introduced.
Patients are free to consult a specialist of their choice even for a minor ailment in the private sector. Inclusion of letter writing skills in the medical curriculum, peer assessment and feedback have shown to improve the quality of referral letters.
Referral has considerable implications for patients, health care system and health care costs. It has been suggested to include letter writing skills in the medical curriculum of both undergraduate and post graduate courses.
To another medical specialist where shared care is anticipated in the longer-term Dear Dr [insert doctor name], Thank you for seeing Ms Rossetti for an opinion and suggested management in regard to her resistant hypertension. It prevents delays in diagnosis and treatment and reduces unnecessary repetition of investigations and poly pharmacy which will increase health care costs.
Abstract Referral of patients to hospitals, specialists and other institutions is an essential part of primary health care. Number of authors have mentioned time constraints[ 14 ] and lack of secretarial support[ 3 ] as reasons for incomplete and badly written referral letters. Her usual medications are listed below.
Good communication between primary and secondary care is essential for the smooth running of any health care system.