Frequently Asked Questions

We envision a world where a person seeking social services can walk into one organization's door, go through an intake process, and if they don't qualify for services, be quickly routed to the organization that can help — without the need for duplicative intake. Referworks helps facilitate these kind of warm referrals by providing a secure and seamless way for organizations using different data standards and technologies to exchange referrals.

Let's say that Organization A is using a case management platform that is capable of sending referrals as structured data and wants to refer potential clients to Organization B (which can only receive referral data by email) and Organization C (which has an API that can ingest referral data). Without Referworks, Organization A would have to set up and maintain different workflows and integrations to send referrals to Organization B and C.

With Referworks, Organization A simply has to send the referral to Referworks, and the interchange will automatically convert that data into an email for Organization B and a post request to Organization C's API. This automated system makes managing referral integrations across multiple organizations and platforms easy to set up and maintain.

When organizations first set up their accounts, they use a graphical tool to indicate how the field names they use to describe referral data correspond to the common standard that Referworks uses. For example, let's say Organization A indicates that its "First Name" field corresponds to the standard field "Referred Person - First Name", Organization B maps its "Client First Name" field to "Referred Person - First Name", and Organization C maps its "First" field to "Referred Person - First Name".

Once those mappings are configured, a referral sent from Organization A would automatically convert Organization A's "First Name" field to the "Client First Name" field for Organization B and to the "First" field for Organization C. If an organization's data schema changes, updating these mappings is as simple as an organization logging into Referworks and using the graphical interface to remap the changed part of its schema to Referworks' common standard.

Referworks make handling authorizations to send and receive referrals between organizations simple. Organizations just log into their Referworks account and request authorization to send and/or receive referral data from another organization. The second organization then logs into their account and accepts the request. Referral exchanges are then permitted between those two organizations.

Referworks lets organizations receive referral data all at once or in separate transmissions. Using the second approach, organizations can conduct checks for conflicts of interest and decide whether to allow the referral to proceed. If the referral is not completed, Referworks will automatically notify the referrer organization that the referral was not accepted.

Using their Referworks account, organizations can decide what data is required in order for other organizations to send them referrals. If an organization cannot send them all the information they need to receive a referral, Referworks will block the referral and notify the referrer organization of the issue.

Referworks takes the security and privacy of user data extremely seriously. The team behind Referworks — Community.lawyer, P.B.C. — has deep experience building applications to securely transmit and store data for large legal organizations, and built Referworks using industry-standard encryption and security measures.

Not at this time — though later versions of Referworks may let recipient organizations send reports back to sender organizations about referrals.

Referworks is in its beta stage. If you'd like to pilot Referworks in your community, reach out to us and we'll discuss how the technology could be implemented to support your work.

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