Need Help?

(Toll Free)
Monday - Friday
9am - 5pm ET

Closing the Loop: Safer Ambulatory Referrals in the EHR Era

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​IHI/NPSF Professional Learning Series Webcast

Miss​ed or delayed diagnosis with subsequent treatment delay is a significant patient safety issue, particularly in the ambulatory setting. Breakdowns in the referral process can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment.

More than 100 million specialist referrals are requested in the US each year in the ambulatory setting, yet only half of these are completed. Among those that are incomplete, there are multiple process errors, including missing information and communication failure. Of malpractice claims related to missed or delayed diagnosis in the ambulatory setting, almost half involve failure to follow up, many of which involve prob​lems with specialist referrals.

Both specialists and primary care practitioners (PCPs) are dissatisfied with the referral process, citing lack of timeliness among other issues. While electronic health records (EHRs) hold potential to address problems in the current referral process, they might also add concerns such as new types of communication breakdowns, lack of interoperability, and documentation burden.

What You'll Learn​

Upon completion of this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the importance and goals of a closed-loop referral process
  • List general barriers that need to be considered
  • Identify both technical and process-oriented recommendations to optimize the ​reliability of the referral process

  • Agenda​​

    2:0​0 PM – 2:05 PM ET​Introduction (IHI/NPSF)​
    ​2:05 PM – 2:45 PM ET ​Presentation with PowerPoint (Featured Speaker​​)
    ​2:45 PM – 2:55 PM ET​Moderated Question and Answer Time (IHI/NPSF and Featured Speaker)
    ​​2:55 PM – 3:00 PM ETClosing Remarks (IHI/NPSF)


Featured Speakers

Hardeep Singh Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, is Chief, Health Policy, Quality & Informatics Research Program at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt). He leads a portfolio of federally funded patient safety research in improving the use of health IT and reducing misdiagnosis. His multidisciplinary work has informed several health care delivery improvement initiatives and policy reports.

David Ting David Y. Ting, MD, FACP, FAAP, is the Chief Medical Information Officer of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO). Dr. Ting is dual-board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and is a practicing primary care internist and pediatrician at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.


Luke-Sato-1681.jpgModerator: Luke Sato, MD is Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for CRICO and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). His current responsibilities include overseeing development of all Patient Safety programs for CRICO and coordinating these initiatives across the Harvard medical system. 

Prior to CRICO, Dr. Sato was staff at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and held the position of associate director of a medical informatics research and development laboratory at BWH and Harvard Medical School.

Gandhi_Tejal_thumb.jpg Moderator: Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), leads IHI programs focusing on improving patient and workforce safety. Dr. Gandhi was President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) from 2013 until 2017, when the Foundation merged with IHI. She continues to serve as President of the Lucian Leape Institute, a think tank founded by NPSF that now operates under the IHI patient safety focus area. She also holds an appointment as Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gandhi is a prominent advocate for patient safety at the regional, national, and international levels, driving educational and professional certification efforts, and helping to create and spread innovative new safety ideas. In 2009, she received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for her contributions to understanding the epidemiology and possible prevention strategies for medical errors in the outpatient setting. An internist by training, Dr. Gandhi previously served as Executive Director of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Partners Healthcare. She received her MD and MPH from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and trained at Duke University Medical Center.​ ​

Continuing Education

This continuing education activity carries 1 contact hour for nurses, physicians, risk managers, quality professionals, and general audience.

More information on continuing education credits can be found here.

Technology Requirements​

This webcast will take place on the WebEx Event Center platform. In order to fully participate in the session, learners will need to have the following available:

  • Broadband Internet connectivity (e.g., T1/LAN, DSL, satellite, or cable modem)
  • Each connection will require a personal computer with the following configuration:
    • Microsoft Windows 7 or later, or Mac OS X (10.7 or later).
    • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later, or the latest release of Firefox or Chrome (Internet Explorer is recommended)
    • Administrative privileges on the computer to install the WebEx client software, or IT support with admin privileges. Alternatively, a less robust WebEx client is available through your Browser.
    • Access to a Network/IT resource in your organization in the event that proxy or firewall issues cause connectivity problem

    We recommend that you ensure that your computer meets the minimum requirements to use WebEx by visiting this link:

    If you have any difficulty, please contact WebEx technical support at 866-569-3239 (option 1).​