Reference Line is written to introduce the patient to the addressee. It is indicated as RE: or Re:
Table of Contents
1. Contents of the reference line
The reference line is structured as follows, and it should include only the following information.
Full name of the patient, Date of Birth/Age of the Patient
On a line, it is a structured as given below
RE: Full name of the patient, DOB: dd/mm/yy
However, writing DOB below the reference line (without space) is acceptable.
RE: Full name of the patient
NOTE: Avoid using a comma/period at the end of reference line.
1.1. Patient’s Name
It is required to write the patient’s full name in the reference line. Writing a title is optional.
1.2. Date of Birth/Age of the Patient
Write DOB in the reference line if given in the case notes.
If DOB is NOT given in the case notes, write the age in the reference line.
2. Information that should be avoided in the reference line
Avoid including the following details of the patient in the reference line.
Gender of the patient
Job/Profession of the patient
a 25-year-old male/single woman/factory worker/smoker
If there is a need to consider another individual as part of expected care/action in the letter, please mention only the name of the patient as per the case notes in the Re: line.
RE: Mr. Simon Andrews and his wife (Similar entries should be avoided)
3. Position of the Re: line
The reference line can be written above or below the ‘Greeting’ in the letter. A single space should be maintained between them.
NOTE: The positions of the reference line and greeting are interchangeable.
Inclusion of a reference line is part of the letter structure/format; therefore, a missing reference line will affect the score for the criterion ‘Organization and Layout’.
NOTE: Reference line (RE: ) not required when the letter is written to the patient or his/her relative. Example, pharmacy letters.