Developing an optimization algorithm within an e-referral program for clinical specialist selection, based on an extensive e-referral program analysis
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When referring physicians decide to refer their patients to specialist care, they rarely, if ever, make a referral decision with the benefit of having access to all of the desirable information. It is therefore highly unlikely that the referring physician will make the optimal choice of specialist for that particular referral. A specialist selection optimization algorithm was developed to guarantee that the “right specialist” for each patient’s referral was chosen. The specialist selection optimization algorithm was developed based on feedback from over 120 users of the e-referral program. The developed algorithm was simulated, tested, and validated in MATLAB. Results from the MATLAB simulation demonstrate that the algorithm functioned as it was designed to. The developed algorithm provides referring physicians with an unprecedented level of support for their decision of which specialist to refer their patient to.