Making referrals--there is more to it than you think

Pediatr Nurs. 1998 Mar-Apr;24(2):160-1.


Nurses spend time and effort making referral appointments for families who do not comply. Nurses can ensure that families will comply with referrals by following the recommendations contained in this article. These recommendations include the education of families about the reason for the referral and emphasis on the importance of keeping the appointment as paramount to the success of the referral. Families must be permitted to select referral sites based on location, appointment scheduling, and payment policies to enhance their compliance. Nurses must be cognizant of their legal obligation to protect patient confidentiality, especially that of adolescents, when making referrals and monitoring noncompliance. Families who do not keep referrals for serious conditions require that the nurse diligently contact them about compliance, recording all attempted and established communications with the family, such as certified letters. Continued noncompliance may require the nurse to file a medical neglect report.

MeSH terms

  • Choice Behavior
  • Confidentiality / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Family / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Care / methods*
  • Nursing Care / psychology
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Referral and Consultation* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States