Refer a Patient
How to Refer a Patient
If you are unsure about whether to refer your patient, please call our clinical intake nurses at 206-987-2080, option 1.
Patients need a referral in order to schedule an appointment.
Updated January 2020.
We are accepting new referrals.
New neurology patients with common conditions that are nonurgent may experience wait times as long as three months for an appointment. Many headache and tic referrals fall into this category. To learn about managing these conditions in the primary care setting, see “Resources for Providers” below.
We ask that providers submit a referral that is complete. A complete referral helps us schedule an appointment for your patient in a timely manner and match them with the right specialist and clinic location. It ensures a productive and smooth first appointment for your patient. It also helps us assess the needs of our community and plan to have the capacity to meet those needs.
- Referring provider’s name, phone, fax and the referral coordinator’s email address so that we may contact you if additional information is needed
- Complete demographic information for the patient, found in the top portion of our New Appointment Request Form (NARF)
- Patient’s clinical records related to the reason for your referral
- Growth charts/curves that are pertinent to the referral
- Pertinent laboratory testing reports
- Previous specialty evaluations for second opinions or transfers of specialty care; include neurologist’s name and location
- If you have imaging studies (EEG, CT, MRI, X-rays), please upload them to PowerShare. For EEGs, please include both the images and the report. Other options are to have your patient hand-carry a disc to the clinic or mail a disc to:
Seattle Children’s Neurosciences Center
PO Box 5371
Seattle, WA 98105
- For transfers of care, send all previous neurology records, diagnostic studies and pertinent notes.
- For headaches and tics: Please provide notes about your prior treatment plan, brain imaging report if available and the reason for referring your patient to specialty care. We may not schedule an appointment without this information due to capacity constraints and the need to prioritize access for the most acute needs. To learn about managing headache and tic in primary care, please see “Resources for Providers” below.
- For macrocephaly and babies under 1 year old being referred for neurosurgery: Send head circumference and head growth charts.
- For first seizure patients, no call to the Provider-to-Provider Line is necessary. Please follow the usual referral process. Include the date and description of the seizure activity and ED/urgent care reports if applicable.
- For developmental delay, include complete developmental assessments, including parent questionnaires, and any developmental testing reports, for example, therapy evaluations and individualized education plan (IEP), if completed.
- For concussion: If your patient has only ongoing headaches following concussion, they are appropriate for neurology evaluation. Patients having more symptoms than headaches may be more appropriate for our Sports Concussion Program in Orthopedics or Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic in Rehabilitation Medicine. Call our Provider-to-Provider Line at 206-987-7777 if you need assistance.
We see patients from birth through age 17 for a broad range of neurological conditions, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delay
- Mitochondrial and other neurometabolic disorders
- Movement disorders
We see patients from birth through age 21 for surgical treatment of:
- Brain and spinal cord tumors
- Congenital/developmental anomalies of the brain and spinal cord
- Spine disorders
- Vascular diseases of the brain and spinal cord
We also provide fetal neurology consults.
- Patients with these conditions are seen by other programs:
- Autism spectrum disorder: Autism Center
- ADHD and behavioral issues: Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
- Craniofacial anomalies: Craniofacial Center
- Concussion (if symptoms are more than just headache): Concussion Clinic (Orthopedics) or Traumatic Brain Injury (Rehab Medicine)
- Learning disability evaluations: The University of Washington’s LEARN Clinic
- Patients who have not been seen by our department in the last three years will need a new referral.
- If you are referring your patient for headache or tic, please review the “Resources for Providers” section below if you are in doubt about whether to refer. Many patients with headache or tic can be successfully managed in primary care.
Submit a referral
Pease call our clinical intake nurses if you need assistance: 206-987-2080, option 1.
We’re committed to partnering with you
If we evaluate your patient and determine they do not have a condition that requires ongoing evaluation and management in a specialty setting, we will return them to primary care with an appropriate plan of care.
We are creating tools to support referring providers in caring for patients who have conditions like headache and tic that can frequently be managed in primary care. See “Resources for Providers” below.
We are always available to answer questions and support your care of your patients.
- Diagnosis and treatment options: call 206-987-7777 (Provider-to-Provider Line)
- Referring or transporting a patient to our Emergency Department or Urgent Care: call 206-987-8899 or toll free 866-987-8899 (ED Communications Center)
- Questions about scheduling and referrals, including locating or expediting a referral: call 206-987-2080 (clinical intake nurses)
Learn more about managing your patients at Seattle Children's, including viewing your patient’s records.
Meet the Neurosciences team.
We provide services at the main hospital in Seattle, as well as our clinics in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee. See our locations.
What Your Patients Can Expect
- Once we receive your referral, your patient can call us to schedule an appointment. If the patient’s condition is urgent, we will call them directly to schedule. We review openings and the patient referral queue daily.
- Patients under 12 months of age referred for hypotonia will be scheduled as soon as possible, usually within one to seven days.
- Patients referred for first seizure are typically seen within 10 days.
- Patients referred for nonurgent headache and tic will have longer waits, currently up to three months. Please see “Resources for Providers” below for guidance on managing these conditions.
- Families may ask to be added to a cancellation list
Even if we do not have openings right away, there are many resources through Seattle Children’s and in the community that can help. This includes headache and tic resources to assist patients with these conditions who have longer waits if their condition is nonurgent.
See Seattle Children's online resources for Neurosciences Center patients and families.
Resources for Providers
- Headache Assessment: General Guidelines for Referring Providers
- Headache Management in Primary Care: A Q&A With Dr. Heidi Blume
- Headache Help for Your Child or Teen (includes information on triggers, prevention and ways to treat headache with and without medicine)
- AAN guidelines: preventive
- AAN guidelines: acute
- The Lancet: Current approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of paediatric migraine, 2010
- American Migraine Foundation: Understanding Pediatric Migraine (with video by Dr. Christine Szperka of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
- Algorithm: Migraine ED Treatment Plan (PDF)
- Algorithm: Headache (PDF)
- Seattle Pediatric Concussion Research Collaborative
- HEADS UP (concussion information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Epilepsy Foundation
- About head Injury
To suggest additional resources from Seattle Children’s that would be useful to primary care providers, please email us.