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Benefits of pre-referral preparation for rheumatology clinics
Murphy, CL; Sheane, B; Durcan, L; O’Shea, FD; Doran, M; Cunnane, G
Appropriate allocation of rheumatology clinic appointments depends on the information contained in referral letters. Such letters were analysed for the presence of pertinent information and a scoring system was devised to assess the quality of enclosed data. In a smaller cohort, relevant basic tests were carried out prior to the appointment. 122 referral letters were received over a 1 month period. Symptom duration was documented in (39)32%, while (64)52.5% listed medications. Only (23)17.2% indicated the urgency of the problem. Approximately (31)25% of referrers performed relevant routine investigations. Mean score out of 10 was 5.1 (range 1.5â 9). Of the 40(33%) patients with pre-appointment investigations, the clinic attendance rate and subsequent discharge rate were significantly higher than those without these tests. This study shows that comprehensive referral letters and basic investigations significantly help to prioritize appointments and facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment for patients with rheumatic disease.
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Lenus
Publisher(s): Irish Medical Journal (IMJ)
First Indexed: 2014-04-03 06:38:35 Last Updated: 2017-05-12 05:56:22