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6 tips for seamless and impactful closed-loop referrals

April 25, 2021
A woman discusses closed-loop referrals with a group of service providers.

Community-based organizations (CBOs) have a lot on their plates. This type of nonprofit organization’s first order of business is providing solutions to complex issues, such as poverty, homelessness, trauma, mental health issues, and more.

It’s rare that the type of care an individual needs is isolated. For example, when a person is battling homelessness, there is a strong likelihood they are also experiencing food insecurity and need help securing employment. As a result, a CBO might search for partners they can refer clients to and collaborate with to get clients the help they need to make progress in their lives. 

However, a common issue in this process is lack of visibility. Once a CBO refers a client to another organization, the referring caseworker is no longer in the progress loop. This lack of visibility can sometimes lead to clients slipping through the cracks and not receiving the help they need. This is one of the reasons why you should implement closed-loop referrals for your CBO.

Why are closed-loop referrals so important?

A closed-loop referral is a term from the healthcare industry that involves multidirectional communication between providers about a client. This exchange of information allows providers in the community to work together to offer a level of care and support that helps ensure that clients continue on a successful path.

Closed-loop referrals also enable CBOs to:

  • Make informed decisions with a holistic view of care.
  • Save time by managing multiple referrals at once without needing to make multiple phone calls or send a lot of emails.
  • Build connections and collaborate with other social good leaders in the community.
  • Keep care teams informed so they know when clients are receiving services.
  • Gain visibility into tracking, progress, and care coordination, allowing organizations to report on community outcomes.

By using closed-loop referrals, you will upgrade your care and enable clients to easily work with multiple CBOs at once. Clients will no longer have to retell their stories and fill out duplicate forms when they seek assistance from various organizations.

Using Bonterra Case Management for closed-loop community referrals

Bonterra Program Management’s Case Management solution (formerly Social Solutions) can help your CBO streamline client referrals. The solution empowers organizations to coordinate care for participants through their communities by seamlessly connecting clients with the help they need. It also gives complete visibility across all organizations providing services to individuals or families. With Bonterra Case Management, it’s easy to build a network of area providers to help program participants on the path to success.

Creating closed-loop referrals can be easy for your CBO to implement. When using Bonterra Case Management, consider these tips:

  1. Review your referral process. Examine your current referral process and identify what’s working well and what needs improvement.
  2. Join the network. Check to see if Bonterra Case Management is available in your area and register to join the network.
  3. Create your profile. Consider how you want your programs to be viewed by others in the closed-loop referrals service directory.
  4. Build your partner network. Tell organizations you refer clients to the most about your closed-loop referral program and encourage them to join the network.
  5. Make referrals in real-time. With Bonterra Case Management, you’ll be able to manage multiple referrals and connect participants to providers. This will save staff time, as they won’t have to make manual phone calls and send manual emails.
  6. Report on community outcomes. Use standardized tracking, progress, and reporting care coordination across providers to demonstrate community-based outcomes.

Having access to a network of providers that are all dedicated to closed-loop referrals will make it easier for your CBO to implement them into your processes. You’ll be able to refer clients to providers that are already dedicated to communicating with your organization, resulting in more visibility for your CBO and better care for clients.

How closed-loop referral software can help

CBOs work tirelessly toward their important purposes, striving constantly to improve society. However, this also means that they have a lot on their plate. By using closed-loop referral software such as Bonterra Case Management, you’ll not only be able to provide your clients better care—you’ll be able to free up time for your staff. With the time they would have spent making phone calls or sending emails, they’ll be able to handle other important initiatives. This will help you impact a greater number of clients’ lives.

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  • Healthcare
  • Human services
  • Nonprofits
  • Public agencies
  • Coordinating social services