LARKSPUR -- Seeking to capitalize on increased usage of mobile devices in health care, Hospice by the Bay recently unveiled a mobile application for physicians to help streamline patient referrals to hospice care.

The application allows doctors to refer patients for care without having to fax a written order, the standard procedure, from any setting ranging from the hospital to their homes.

The app will help improve efficiency in admissions, according to Hospice by the Bay, the country's second oldest hospice provider in the country and the first in California. It can also help provide a smoother transition to hospice that maintains a continuity of care and more effective communication between physicians and Hospice by the Bay.

Much of the medical world is looking to mobile technology as a potential way of opening new avenues to access and efficiency.

"Since more than 80 percent of doctors now use mobile devices, Hospice by the Bay's app is an invaluable tool for providing timely and accurate hospice care to our community," Sandra Lew, chief executive officer, said in an announcement.

In addition to referrals, the app also provides physicians with criteria for eligibility, a drug formulary, descriptions and guidelines for hospice care, contact information and details about the physician-hospice partnership and reimbursement information, according to the nonprofit hospice.

The app also includes access to a video for physicians on how and when to initiate discussions on hospice with patients and families, along with bios of medical staff and links to clinical information and articles.

The app is available for both Android- and iOS-based phones and tablets.