Tiara9 NHS e-Referral Service

A fully accredited link to the NHS e-RS

To improve the patient experience many clinical therapy departments offer their services through the NHS e-Referral Service, as used by GPs and other empowered clinical practitioners. Tiara9 has an optional module which links seamlessly with e-RS to provide direct booking of appointment slots within the system. Referrals are received with no administrative overhead within the department.

Why Use It?

The ability to tie in a Patient Management System with e-Referrals is essential for monitoring progress, measuring outcomes and reporting back to commissioning bodies. Tiara9 has a rich range of options for recording and reporting, adaptable to any scenario and fully configurable to your needs.

How Tiara9 Works With e-RS

Ethitec have worked closely with NHS Digital to implement and achieve accreditation for the e-RS interface. Using messages passed through the NHS Spine, Tiara9 and e-RS communicate to pass requests for appointment bookings from the referrer or patient directly into the open slots available within the department’s scheduled timetable.

  • The department registers with the e-Referral Service as a Provider and registers the specific Services they will offer. e-RS provides a supplier code and unique code for each entered Service. These are stored in the Tiara9 system against the Services to be made directly bookable.
  • The departmental schedule is set up in Tiara9 as normal, to include the bookable slots.
  • Every night, e-RS automatically contacts the Tiara9 system to obtain a current list of the available slots.
  • The referrer selects the required type of treatment from the e-RS Directory of Services and, based on the Providers who match the service/location/date search criteria, a list of available slots is presented.
  • If one of the department’s slots is selected, Tiara9 is contacted, the slot availability checked and the booking confirmed.

This works for all of the scenarios where a direct booking is made using e-RS; be it booking directly with a GP, by admin staff, by the patient online or by a patient via the national e-Referral Service appointment telephone line.

To communicate with e-RS, messages must be sent via the secure NHS Digital HSCN network. For NHS users, it will usually be the case that the Tiara9 system is hosted within the HSCN network. However, for external service providers, the Tiara9 system will run on a local network, so a specific Tiara9 Message server will pass messages through the firewall in to the HSCN domain.

Who Can Use It?

The Tiara9 e-RS module can be used directly in any situation where services are offered through the NHS e-Referral Service. This could be any of the major NHS therapeutic departments, as well as allied organisations who supply services as Any Qualified Providers - for example, opticians, community auditory services, or members of the leisure industry providing commissioned exercise-on-referral schemes. It can also be used to administer Social Prescription services.

Contact Ethitec to discuss how Tiara9 can be used to manage the services you offer through the NHS e-Referral Service…


Tiara9 As An e-RS Broker

e-Referrals Direct To Your Management System

It is not unusual for the NHS’s external service providers to develop their own in-house Patient Management System (PMS), but implementing the link to the NHS e-Referral Service is complex, with an involved accreditation process. Direct bookings from e-RS cannot be made without this, so manual workarounds are required to manage and co-ordinate e-Referrals.

Ethitec, having undertaken the work to link the Tiara9 system to e-RS, can now offer this functionality to 3rd Parties, delivering the benefits of a full e-RS integration without the associated development effort of modifying their PMS and taking it through the NHS Common Assurance Process. Instead, NHS suppliers wishing to integrate with e-RS can utilise Tiara9’s accredited e-RS direct booking system in Broker format.


How Does It Work?

A key element of the Tiara9 e-RS Broker module is that the operation will be automatic. Beyond initial setup, Tiara9 is a ‘silent’ part of the system, fulfilling the role of a broker by passing messages between the PMS and e-RS. Clinical users will NOT be required to use the Tiara9 system, with all routine administration of schedules and bookable slots carried out in the PMS.

The service provider will need to have registered with the e-Referral Service as a Provider and register the specific Services they will offer. The e-RS provided Supplier and Service codes are stored in the Tiara9 system against the Services to be made directly bookable.

e-RS integration requires local access to the NHS HSCN network, usually facilitated through an NHS Digital accredited HSCN connected server. This will be configured to pass and receive messages from a Tiara9 system installed on the local network. A further set of messages pass between Tiara9 and the PMS, sent using a standard API. This clear separation of PMS and e-RS means that NHS Digital regard the interface as being with Ethitec’s Tiara9 system, so the 3rd Party is not required to seek e-RS accreditation.

A typical system would look like this:


The Tiara9 e-RS broker system handles all accredited e-RS functions:

  • Publication to e-RS of available appointment slots
  • An appointment booking request from e-RS, with a confirmation response
  • An appointment cancellation request
  • Sends updates on published slot availability – i.e. slot no longer available
  • Feeds back to e-RS details of any DNA’s
  • Accepts Patient Demographic System (PDS) requests to retrieve patient details

With Tiara9's e-RS functionality implemented, a 3rd party PMS can operate with a real-time link to the e-Referral Service. Contact Ethitec to discuss how Tiara9 can be used to manage the services you offer through the NHS e-Referral Service…