Create and send an eReferral

Through secure messaging, eReferrals can be delivered and received directly between healthcare practitioners. In Bp Premier, you can send an electronic referral, or eReferral, from the Word processor using a third-party messaging service.

Before you begin

Before you can send an eReferral the following must be enabled in Bp Premier:

  1. Install and configure your secure messaging provider's software.
  2. Configure each contact your practice sends messages to with a Messaging Provider and an Account ID.

Creating and sending an eReferral

This method can also be used to send all forms of electronic correspondence.

  1. Open the patient record of the patient you want to create the referral for.
  2. To open the word processor, select one of:
    • Correspondence Out > Add
    • File > New Letter
    • Press F4
    • Click Best Practice Word Processor Icon in the toolbar.
  3. Select Templates > Use Template. Select the template to be used for the referral from the list and click Open. The template that you choose should contain Addressee fields.
  4. eReferral Specialist Template Resized

  5. If the chosen template contains Addressee fields, you will be presented with the Select addressee window. Choose the From Address Book tab. Select the contact from the list and click Use Contact.
  6. Select eReferral enabled contact

  7. Complete the referral letter.
  8. Send the eReferral by clicking the HL7 icon, or select File > Export HL7. If you did not select a contact when you created the document, you will be prompted for a contact now.
  9. The Document details screen will appear. If Save as Draft is ticked, untick and click Save to send the eReferral.
  10. The eReferral letter will be wrapped into a PDF file format for the messaging provider and saved to the folder specified for the messaging provider for outgoing messaging. The file will be transmitted, and the document will be saved into the Correspondence Out section of the patient record.
  11. A progress note will be added to the patient record detailing the recipient and messaging service.

TIP   If you would like to get a prompt that the HL7 file has been saved successfully, select Setup > Preferences from the main Bp Premier screen. Select the user's name and click Letters. Tick the checkbox Show confirmation on export of HL7.

Send Private Specialist eReferrals via HealthLink SmartForms

HealthLink SmartForms have been designed to make it easier for you to refer your patients electronically to Private Specialists. The Healthlink SmartForm automatically prepopulates with all the patient and practice information and allows files to be attached from the patient’s record. The HealthLink SmartForms eReferral service is available for Australian Doctors and Specialists in VIC, TAS, NSW, ACT, SA and WA.

For documentation on using HealthLink SmartForms with Best Practice Software, review Healthlink's own resources at

Unable to send an eReferral to a contact?

Each contact your practice sends messages to must be configured with Messaging Provider and an Account ID.

  1. Select View > Contacts from the main Bp Premier screen. Select the contact and click Edit to display the Contact details screen.
  2. In the Messaging provider drop-down list, select the contact's preferred messaging provider.
  3. Enter the contact's Account ID for that messaging provider and the contact's Email address.
  4. If you know that this messaging provider's software can receive eReferrals in CDA format, select the contact's address and click Edit, or Add to add an address. Tick the box Accepts CDA eReferrals and click Save to update the record.
  5. Click Save.
  6. eReferral Create Account ID

Create and send a CDA eReferral

Some providers are capable of transmitting eReferrals as a CDA formatted document. CDA eReferrals allow providers to add additional information from the patient record, such as current and past medical history, current medications, allergies/adverse reactions, and diagnostic investigations.

Before you begin

The following needs to be configured in Bp Premier before the CDA-formatted eReferrals window will appear:

  • The patient must have their Individual Health Identifier (IHI) recorded in demographics.
  • The patient must have a phone number recorded in demographics.
  • The doctor must have their Health Identifier (HPI-I) recorded in their user record.
  • The practice must have its Health Identifier (HPI-O) recorded in practice details.
  • The practice has recorded at least one method of contact: for example, Email, Phone or Fax.
  • The contact needs to use a Messaging Provider with Send CDA eReferrals ticked. A green star in the Healthlink FHIR Online Directory indicates that a contact accepts CDA referrals through a secure messaging provider.
  • eReferrals CDA green star example

Sending a CDA eReferral

If you want to use this feature and if the contact uses a messaging provider that accepts CDA eReferrals select the system template called eReferral.

  1. From the Word Processor, select Templates > Use Template. Select the template called eReferral from the list and click Open.
  2. This screen allows you to include additional information about the patient within the referral. Tick the information that you would like to include and click Send. The CDA format document will be displayed. The text you typed in your letter will be displayed in the Reason for Referral section.
  3. Confirm that the information is correct and click Send. The letter will be wrapped up into the appropriate file format for the messaging provider and saved to the folder specified in the setup section for outgoing messaging. This file will be picked up by the messaging provider's software and transmitted.
  4. When the document has been sent, click Close to return to the eReferral screen.
  5. Close this screen and close the word processor. The CDA-formatted letter will now appear in the Correspondence Out section of the patient record.
  6. A progress note will be added to the patient record detailing the recipient and messaging service.

Following up eReferrals

Bp Premier keeps a log of all eReferrals sent to contacts from the word processor. If the messaging provider supports acknowledgements in Bp Premier, logs will also show this information.

Staff can use this screen to periodically check the status of sent eReferrals to ensure that the receiving contact has acknowledged them or follow up on any unacknowledged or negatively acknowledged eReferrals.

  1. Select View > eReferrals. The eReferral Followup screen will appear.
  2. eReferral Followup

    By default, the screen shows referrals sent in the last week that have not been acknowledged.

  3. Use the filters provided to widen or narrow the referrals listed:
    • Start date — displays referrals sent from this date until today's date.
    • Messaging provider — displays acknowledgements by messaging service, or all messaging providers set up within Bp Premier.
    • Status — displays 'Acknowledged' or 'Unacknowledged'.
    • Hide positive acknowledgements — if unticked, acknowledged eReferrals will be displayed.

    The Status column shows the follow-up state of eReferral acknowledgements:




    Messages have not been acknowledged as being received by the recipient


    The recipient has received the document successfully and it was acknowledged by the recipient’s system


    The message was delivered but it had errors and a negative acknowledge has been returned by the recipient's system


    There was an error sending the eReferral via Argus (will appear for older versions of Argus only)


    The eReferral has been sent correctly via Argus, but has not been acknowledged by the recipient’s system (will appear for older versions of Argus only)


    The eReferral was not received or accepted at the receiving end, and staff should call the receiving contact to confirm receipt.

  4. Select a patient and select File > Open patient details to open the patient demographics for the patient.

Can I resend an eReferral?

To resend an eReferral, open the document in the word processor from the patient record and export it to the HL7 contact. This will result in two entries in the eReferral followup screen.

Can I manually mark a referral as contacted?

There is no functionality in the eReferral Followup screen to record notes or mark as contacted; this screen will only show all messages sent from the selected date onwards.

Troubleshooting eReferrals

Messaging providers are third party companies that securely transmit results, reports, and documents to and from GP practices, specialists, hospitals, and pathology and imaging labs. Third party companies provide and install their application on your practice server; Bp Premier interacts with that software to import or send the document or file.

Tracking eReferrals

Several secure messaging providers provide a tracking mechanism to confirm that the intended recipient has received a result, report, or document. If acknowledgements have been enabled, review the eReferral followup screen for any unacknowledged or negatively acknowledged eReferrals. Select View > eReferrals > eReferral Followup.

For any unacknowledged or negatively acknowledged eReferrals it may be necessary to send the document to the specialist practice through a different delivery mode. Alternatively, if the referral can be printed for the patient, they can submit it to the specialist when making an appointment.

Bp Premier can send an internal notification to senior users if an eReferral transmitted via Secure Messaging has remained unacknowledged or negatively acknowledged for three days. This feature can be enabled from Configuration > Results import > Notifications. See Set up results acknowledgement and notifications for more information.

eReferrals not sending for one contact only

For any unacknowledged or negatively acknowledged eReferrals where it appears to be affecting one contact, confirm that the Account ID for the receiving contact has been entered correctly into Bp Premier. For messaging providers with an external online directory, you can log into this and check the Account ID for the receiving contact. See Add a new contact for more information.

NOTE   For Healthlink contacts the Account ID is referred to as the EDI.

eReferrals not sending for all contacts

For any unacknowledged or negatively acknowledged eReferrals where all secure messages are failing, check that the messaging provider has been set up correctly in Bp Premier. See Set up a messaging provider for more information.

If the messaging provider has been set up correctly, and the eReferral is still not being received, contact your messaging provider to verify if they have received the referral.

If the messaging provider has received the message, you will need to speak to the receiving contact to try to resolve it.

Troubleshooting eReferral status codes



Invalid namespace of the address of receiving facility

Check the Account ID in the address book and correct this before resending the referral. The Account ID is a unique account name that acts as the electronic address for the receiving contact.

Message size greater than maximum file size

The maximum size of the file should be no greater than 4 MB.

External resources

Further documentation on setting up eReferrals for a specific vendor in Bp Premier can be found on the following Bp Partners knowledge bases:

Last updated 27 September 2022.