TableĀ 3

Summary of key findings

Provider focus groupsPatient focus groups
  • Acceptability

  • Reduction in patient wait time

  • Easier access to information

  • Increased quality of care through accurate feedback to referring physician

  • Reduction in travel

  • Appropriate tests would be ordered and communicated with nephrologists

  • Ability to receive care without requiring an in-person visit

  • Increased confidence in PCPs decision-making about nephrology care

  • Appropriate tests would be ordered and communicated with nephrologists

  • Barriers

  • Length of time required for PCPs to complete the e-referral due to lack of integration with current EMR

  • Potential decreased access to care by increasing wait times at other points in the care pathway

  • Increase in referrals might overwhelm the nephrologists and lead to delayed response or unsustainable system

  • Difficult access for nephrology care as the new system will take up a lot of PCP's time

  • Facilitators

  • Availability of financial remuneration to enable PCPs to be compensated for this work

  • Awarding CME credits for learning current nephrology best practice by working through the decision-making structure of the form

Ease of use
  • The tools/process should be made easy to use (ie, minimise number of logins and integrate with existing platforms (eg, Netcare and EMRs))

Ease of communication between referring physicians and nephrologists:
  • The need for the e-referral system to allow multiple options for two-way communication between referring physicians and nephrologists

  • Improve communication and information sharing between PCPs and nephrologists

  • Two-way communication with nephrologists likely to increase the ability and confidence of PCPs in meeting best practice

  • Better access to care as a consequence of good communication between physicians

  • Improved efficiency if the system allowed for communication of additional patient information

  • CME, continuing medical education; EMR, electronic medical records; NA, not applicable, PCPs, Primary care providers.