Electronic Referrals

The GPIT Group is active in supporting and promoting electronic cancer referrals and electronic general referrals.

Electronic Cancer Referrals

Electronic cancer referrals to rapid access clinics in the cancer centres are available for patients with suspected breast, prostate or lung cancer. To use this service you need to:

  • Use an enabled accredited practice software system, such as CompleteGP, Health One, Helix Practice Manager or Socrates
  • Join Healthlink, the national message broker, web www.healthlink.ie, phone 01 8825606
  • Install a Healthlink digital ID on each practice computer used for electronic referrals

GP adoption of electronic cancer referrals is increasing rapidly. In the month of January 2014, 655 GPs made 1,434 electronic cancer referrals. GPs comment that once they make one electronic referral they would never go back to doing paper or fax referrals. The advantages of electronic cancer referrals include an immediate acknowledgement that the referral has been received and a response within 5 working days indicating the triage category of the patient and their appointment date or appointment interval.

Electronic General Referrals

The National Electronic General GP Referral Pilot Project was established in 2011 to deliver electronic general referral, using the HIQA/ICGP standard referral template, between GPs and Tallaght Hospital, Dublin and the 6 acute hospitals in Cork City/County and Kerry. This project is run in conjunction with Healthlink, the ICGP, GPIT, NCCP and the Outpatients Performance Improvement Programme.

In January 2013, the project went live. Initially commencing at Mercy University Hospital, Cork with a group of 14 GP's and 3 specialties, all specialties are now accepting electronic general referral. In June 2013 the second of the seven sites, Mallow General Hospital, Co. Cork, went live and now currently accepts all referrals electronically. Since August 2013, electronic general referral was introduced to all Paediatric Specialties at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin 24. In November 2013 the fourth pilot site Cork University Hospital (encompassing Cork University Maternity Hospital) went live and since March 2014 all specialties can be referred electronically.

Currently this project has close to 160 GPs enabled to send referrals electronically in the Cork/Kerry/Tallaght Hospital catchment areas. The great advantage for you the GP, in availing of electronic general referral is you can complete the electronic referral form from within your own practice management system & many fields are auto-populated thereby cutting down on the time taken to process a referral. You will get an immediate acknowledgement of receipt of referral upon submission & you will receive a triage response in 7 days.

Contact details for the National Electronic General GP Referral Pilot Project

For more information on this project, please see www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/gpreferral.html.


Healthlink have devised demonstration videos (with audio) and user manuals that can be viewed and downloaded. These tools are accessible on www.healthlink.ie/trainingdocs.htm.

NCCP GP cancer referral guidelines and forms:

Click here for a flyer for the Electronic General Referral Project.


 Electronic General Referral (Electronic_General_Referral_2014-2.pdf | 46 KB)