Send Instant Patient Referrals to your Colleagues

You can now send patient referrals to your colleagues without the hassles of lost faxes and overlooked communication. Our latest release included new instant referrals that allow you to refer patients directly to another provider within the EHR and receive confirmation instantly.

Completely HIPAA-complaint for sensitive patient information (unlike emailed e-referrals), instant referrals saves you time while taking the guesswork out of the medical referral process for you and your patients.

To send an instant referral:

  1. From a SOAP note or the Patient Actions menu, select Send referral / response letter
  2. Choose a recipient from your recipient list, or select Add New Recipient to create a new contact
  3. Review the referral information, then click Send instantly (see below)

The patient referral will automatically be sent to your colleague, who will receive an email and a fax notification that a referral is waiting in the EHR. Practice Fusion users will receive the patient referral instantly while in the EHR.

Instant referrals can be sent to anyone in your existing fax referral recipient list, and are part of your existing medical referral workflow if you’ve used our referrals feature in the past.

To access your patient referral:

  1. Click on the Your Network tab to the right. Select your colleague’s name.
  2. You’ll see your patient’s name linked in the conversation window. Simply click on it to view the referral.
  3. You can also send your colleague a follow-up message from this window.

In order to quickly bring you this new functionality, we’ve had to streamline the referral screen. You will no longer see the Dx and Rx Add/Remove buttons or vital signs. To customize your patient referral, switch to a simple referral letter by deselecting Include patient data at the bottom.

While the referral screen has been temporarily streamlined, patient referrals will soon be even more customizable for you. We’re working hard to bring you the ability to add full chart notes directly into your referrals, so stay tuned!


Practice Fusion is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare platform, with a mission of connecting doctors, patients and data to drive better health and save lives.

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  • Jay Ganji

    I hope every page of the referral will have patient’s name and DOB

  • Jaxallergyctr

    I used the PF referral letters for a while but had gone back to doing it the old way because of all the extraneous pages and unnecessary information sent along with the letter. The referring docs do not want all that stuff – just the letter and nothing else!

  • Ray Osterer

    When doing a referral, it is very important to be able to also attach items that were scanned into the patient’s chart (like EKG, or Labs). So far, this has not been possible. Will that be solved?

  • tony dimarco

    Fully agree

  • gschro

    How is this different than before?

  • HJones

    What would be nice would be if we could make our own templates of letters and save them in PF. Also, as a specialist I use the referral letters to respond about patients sent ‘in’ to me, but the letters are pretty much geared towards primary care referring patients out — so I have to make changes to each letter. Allowing for customization and saving of template letters would solve this issue. Just a though.

  • Devang Patel

    Please make sure that we can attach the demographic and insurance information.

  • Mercedes Vazquez

    I think that will be very useful if we have the option or send the referral letter with or whit out the chart notes and labs. Also could be very helpful if in the future we can send a char note or lab results to any other dr or office registered in my network as a attachment to a dr’s note (not as refferal).

  • Srafaloff


  • Gail B

    I have to agree with this. Our office is also a specialist and we get the referrals. We like to send thank you letters that consist of thanking for the referral and then the content of the soap note. Thanks for suggesting it!

  • Azzam Almouajjed, MD

    I gave up sending referrals, because more than 50% of them do not go through , and I had to print the referral out and faxe it manually. Please address.

  • Alaani

    That is great idea.. we really need that

  • Alaani

    great idea…

  • Betty A S

    I agree with this. We are also a specialist and use this feature to send SOAP notes to the referring PCP

  • OB Doc

    I agree completely. Physicians do not want to read about PF and how great it is, to get to the reason for the fax. In fact, I believe some physicians will see the “bling” and just discard it as spam, before they even see the real reason for the referral/letter. Physicians either are using PF, not using one at all, or are using some other EMR and are not wanting to see all the advertising. If they are interested in getting a new EMR or getting into EMR for the first time, then they will do the research and get 1 they are comfortable with.

  • OB Doc

    A GOOD thought. Most physicians dictate referral letters about patients that they have seen as sent by other physician/ care givers. When I refer patients to other doctors, I usually make the appt. for the patient and notify the person making the appt.(on the other end) what he/she is going to see the referral doctor for. Most of the time no letter is necessary to send before hand, unless it is to include lab/xray studies that have already been performed. If which case, I really need the ability to include lab and documents scanned into PF. Doesn’t seem to be any easy way to do this. Wish PF would allow attaching labs and scanned documents directly to the referral note, both coming and going.

  • ADiaz

    Referral customization is really critical. For Medicare and Medicaid patients, health insurance companies require an specific data and format that would be good to be able to create them on PF and send to HP.

  • sophia

    nice idea but without the ability to make our own templates we feel we are forced to not use PF for a number of functions. If there were a way to add patient demographics and insurance info to a soap note that would be really useful. We do a lot of workers comp and sending patient info without insurance info and patient demographics is pointless

  • Franklin

    I agree.
    We recieved referral through PF fax by a PCP that used in our area and it took longer than sending it through his staff because we had to call and get the insurance information as well as any pertinant labs, radiology, chart notes, or other documents that were scanned into PF faxed to us.
    Also, as I send out referrals for a primary care I avoid using this feature because I cannot include the above information. The letter sent by PF is cover letter but it needs to be able to inclue pertiant information that is in the patient chart without having to type all of it into the referral letter.
    PF is doing a good job overall and I do like the EHR but right now this feature is useless to me.

  • ATNW

    Does this mean faxes can be re-sent if they do not go through?

  • ATNW

    Looking forward to faxing the full chart note– thank you for working on this!

  • Geoff

    Could not be better said. Customization is key. I work for medical records, and when dealing with disability determination, workman’s comp, and other times, this almost seems imperative!

  • DeAnn

    It would be really helpful if we can send the patient demographics and insurance info with the referral. We are being inundated with call backs requesting this information

  • Peter Jaackson

    I have used the referral fax letter which is a good feature, how will this be different…one problem with the fax feature…if you are composing a note or letter, there is no way to save it if you need to leave it for a while….and some times if you press the back button by mistake it exits you out of that and you lose all the information…as a safeguard, i now write my notes in a word program and then cut and paste, but it is more cumbersome then being able to save a referral note before sending it..

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Hi HJones, you can customize your templates and letters the same way you customize your charts notes by clicking the “blue templates button” in the top left corner or a referral letter or chart note. Here’s a video too:

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    You can use the customizable templates as a way to save your format for referrals letters and then just enter in the new information for each patient. You customize letters the same way as chart notes.

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Hi DeAnn, that’s a great idea. I will send this to the Product Management team but in the future you can request features in our user forum:

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Hi Sophia, you can actually customize templates with Practice Fusion. If you click the “pencil icon” to the left of the templates it will allow you to write in your own template language and save that for both chart notes and referral letters.
    Here’s a video as well:

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Here’s a video that shows how you can edit and customize your templates for referral letters same way as customizing chart notes:

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Hi Mercedes, adding a chart note will be coming soon!

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    You can customize the letters to your liking, here’s a video shows customizing at :55 seconds

  • phil

    The solution: have auto submission and reply back with a virtual fax number from PF to be autoscanned into documents. But someone will have to do the sorting later per patient into the chart. If PF can allow any specialist a link to the pt’s portal for upload, then it would be streamlined.

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    I think one of the greatest parts about the latest additions to e-referrals is the fact that if the recipient is a PF user, both the sender and the recipient will be able to discuss the status of that referral through the instant clinical messaging feature to make sure the recipient received the referral versus having to call and make sure they received your fax.

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Yes, basic demographics will definitely be included.

  • sandip

    I have requested to fax SOAP note in the signed note format to referring physician about 6 mths ago and I can’t wait to see this feature implemented – i think this is must for ANY specialist.

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Great question! When you get to sending the letter you now have a choice of fax or the new way “instant e-referral” which is done within Practice Fusion’s EHR. If the recipient is a PF user, the referral will now be waiting for them in PF in the messages section as an attachment. This is an advantage for you because you can now use the clinical messaging feature in the EHR to make sure they received your referral without having to call or try and track down the referred doctor. If the recpient isn’t a PF user it’s no different for the sender but you will have less of an idea if the referral is successful or not because we have no way of telling if the fax went through. If they’re not a PF user, you can invite them in the EHR and then you will receive $100 when they become active.

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Hi Phil, the ability to fax or e-refer SOAP notes is not part of this release but that will be coming soon (I promise :) )!

  • CarolineB33

    I agree!!

  • carolineb33

    I agree with this also!!! Badly need to be able to attach documents to referrals!!!

  • Dr L Campos

    When I send a referral always get a call requesting demographics can we include them in the future?

  • bialick tabibian

    good job

  • scheduler

    Faxing full chart note with one button would be great for both referring and referral docs!!! It let them know what you are thinking and all details. PLEASE DO THIS ALONG WITH THE INTERNAL NOTE!!!!!!!

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Chart notes in referral letters will be coming soon, but not this release.

  • Shea Steinberg-PF

    Basic demographics are included, but this is the first iteration of many to come. Suggestions are always welcome on the user forum:

  • Joy Fry

    The fact that the Dx and Rx Add/Remove buttons have been taken away is a big problem. When we are referring patients for specific things, the referral should not list every Dx in the patient’s chart. The Add/Remove button needs to be reactivated ASAP.

  • Dawn

    Yes, thank you!

  • Jay Ganji

    Can we see a sample of the referring letter of how it will look. I am a consultant and when I sent the notes right now, on the second and sometime which may go to third page due to patient information and medication long list, I do not see patient’s demographics on each page.

  • Neill Videlefsky, MD.

    Please, please can you add full chart referrals as soon as possible. It is even more important than direct referrals.

    Thanks in anticipation,

    Neill Videlefsky, MD.

  • K Dryer

    yes, agree as well need capability to attach progress note and demogrphics with insurance information. we always have to fax these separately which takes more time. Thanks for working on these features for your users

  • D. Levine

    Yes. I agree with H. Jones in the letter below me. I’m a specialist also. The referral letter template to send a response back to the referring doctor is absent making the referral letter system unworkable for me.

  • ob doc

    You can make it “workable” but you have to change everything in the simple referral note so that it looks like a note to your referring dr. Really, PF needs to make 1 or 2 (or poss. 3) templates that are strictly for specialist sending referral letters back to the referring dr. I don’t know why they don’t do this, but apparently PF has been receiving advise strictly from primary care docs. I have yet to meet a primary care doctor that actually sends a note to me for a referral. Almost always, all I get is last note or 2 from their EHR. Usu. if I need extra data such as pap smear results, we have to call. I know that the primary care docs. are busy and don’t want to take the time to dictate or write a note out, so they just tell their staff to send last 2 notes that pertain to the problem that he is referring pt. for. That’s what I would do too, but when you are dealing with a referral, then good business sense says you must keep that referring dr. happy, and that means sending a letter to same. Am I right or am I right??

  • ob doc

    I would very much like to be able to include lab or scanned documents into my referral note. PF needs to work on this aspect. Don’t see how this can’t be done, after all, all the data is already in PF. It would be a function of being able to look for what you need to include and then have “insert” button- bingo! Maybe it a function of online storage, but this could be solved by just storing a pointer to the included data, in the referral document. Other option would be to only save the referral “sent” indicator. Just a thought.

  • Jay Ganji

    When you customize your letter and send pertinent findings for referral or a note to the referred, the demographics are “NOT INCLUDED: as PF states. The demographics are present on the first page only. If patient has a long list of medications or diagnosis, or if the letter is longer than a page, the second or third page is essentially a blank demographics and if you send multiple notes to a practice or MD, there is no telling which page does belong to which patient if they are mixed up. Hence, I think PF needs to fix this ASAP as it is not medicare compliant if every page document that gets sent out does not have demographics. Shea, call me and you can see it live on my EHR of how bad it looks when 2nd page or 3rd page does not have demographics.

  • Jay Ganji

    Instant referral does not document on the SOAP note that a referral was sent

  • Daren Nicholson – PF

    Your comments on this blog posting are excellent feedback for our team. We look forward to bringing new referral enhancements to you soon. For future feature requests, please visit

  • Daren Nicholson – PF

    Your comments on this blog post are excellent feedback for our team. We look forward to bringing new referral enhancements to you soon. For future feature requests, please visit

  • ENT Doc

    I agree with Dr. Jones. There needs to be separate referral and reply templates, with separate buttons. It needs to be much easier to send a simple response to a referral or consult request, which is 95% of the communications specialist sends out.

    I recommend that a separate RESPONSE template be created, with the click of a button which would say something like: “Dear Dr. X, Thank you for your kind consultation request on this patient. My note follows. Should you have questions, or if I can be of further assitance,please free to contact me”.

  • ENT Doc

    Also, in response to Ms. Steinberg practice fusion, the current system to replace the verbiage in these letters, that Ms. Steinberg describes, is slow and clumsy. He used to be quicker when we had a button to clear the blocks, but the blood that erases the existing verbiage has been eliminated. Be much easier to have a second option for outgoing responsible, that is as automated and quick as outgoing referral letters.

  • Kelly

    Still waiting on the ability to send progress notes, recent lab, pertinent xrays and scans or ekg etc. These should all be done at the time of the referral. Preferably NOT in a separate fax. A separate fax wastes office time and office supplies.

  • s mazda

    We need a directory of physicians’ direct messaging addresses at least within practice fusion! Most physicians do not know their own direct addresses.