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Ambulatory Services

FAQs for Referring New Patients

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What are my options for referring a patient to Seattle Children's?

To make a new appointment referral, you may either phone or fax in your referral. You can call us at 206-987-2080 (toll-free: 866-987-2000, ext. 72080) or fax us at 206-985-3121.

If I have a patient who needs to be seen urgently, should I call the clinic?

If you have a need for an urgent consultation, call our physician operator at 206-987-7777 or toll-free 877-985-4637, option 4, and indicate this is an urgent call. You will be able to speak with the physician on call for any service needed who will help you.

What is the New Appointment Request Form (NARF)?

Download the New Appointment Request Form (PDF) (DOC).

The purpose of this form is to streamline the process of scheduling patients into Children's specialty clinics and gathering information necessary to schedule the appointment.

Our goal is to maximize the efficiency of scheduling new patient appointments and to coordinate care with primary care and other referring physicians.

We try to do this by gathering the clinical information needed to schedule an appointment promptly and appropriately as early in the referral process as possible.

The NARF also makes it easier for the Children's scheduler and the family to communicate during the appointment-making process.

Is the NARF for all clinics?

This form is appropriate to use for all Children's specialty clinics except for Child Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, which is accessed by calling 206-987-2164. If a NARF is faxed in, however, it will be forwarded to Child Psychiatry.

Do I have to use the NARF?

You may use your own office referral form as long as it contains the same information as the NARF. However, we believe that appointments will be scheduled more quickly and with less hassle for your office, your patients and for Children's if this form is used.

Or you may call in the referral to 206-987-2080 or toll-free 866-987-2000, ext. 72080.

Do I need to use the NARF to request a return appointment?

No. This form's intent is to streamline the new patient intake and triage. Please continue to call the clinic directly for return appointments. Phone numbers for each service can be found via the links on All Clinics and Programs (A to Z).

Do I still have to fill out a referral (insurance authorization form)?

Yes, for those patients whose healthcare plans require it. Insurance referral authorization is a separate process that requires the use of the individual health care plan's authorization forms, so you will still need to fax those to Children's Insurance Processing Department's central fax number at 206-987-FAXS (3297).

Should I send other clinical information such as any relevant clinic notes?

Yes, fax that along with the NARF. We use that information to help ensure appropriate scheduling, and the schedulers make it available for the patient's visit. It also helps in coordinating care between you and Children's physicians.

What if I need to refer to multiple clinics for the same patient? Can I list all of the clinics on the same NARF?

You can list all of the clinics on the same NARF. Be sure and include the relevant clinical information for each specialty clinic.

Can I use the fax number on the NARF for other communications to Children's?

No. It is a dedicated line and will only go to the scheduling staff.

What can my patients and families expect?

Once we receive the completed referral, the family should call the clinic directly to schedule an appointment. Generally they can call after one business day from the time the referral was sent.

To reach the clinic the family may call Children's at 206-987-2000, or toll-free 866-987-2000, and ask for the specific specialty clinic's scheduling line.

If the family doesn't call after 2 weeks, you will be notified if your patient has not been scheduled.

How can I give input on the NARF?

We are continuously evaluating and seeking to improve the NARF. Please send your comments and suggestions to Sarah Thomas.

How do I get more copies of the NARF?

You can download the NARF (PDFDOC) or duplicate the form yourself in your office. If you would like us to fax a blank copy to you, please call our Clinical Intake office at 206-987-2080.