Active Referral to Treatment (ART)

Ludy Young--Project ASSERT's "Referral Queen"--at Boston Medical Center.

Ludy Young--Project ASSERT's "Referral Queen"--at Boston Medical Center.

When patients are seeking additional help and are interested in services outside the scope of a particular health care setting (such as detox, support groups, shelters, financial counseling, behavioral health and primary care access) it can be challenging to connect them with those services.

Lack of time, lack of knowledgeable personnel, and lack of awareness of resources are common barriers to achieving effective referrals.

Active Referral to Treatment (ART) involves taking the time to help patients find appropriate resources and navigate health care systems.  It is more than providing a phone number or educational pamphlet.

Instead, it might involve identifying an available bed or service, making a phone call with the patient to assist in the intake process, reviewing health information to ensure comprehension, or not giving up until the patient is successfully placed in a treatment facility.  In these ways, ART embraces the “art” of the warm hand-off.