What difference does a neurologist make in a general hospital? Estimating the impact of neurology consultations on in-patient care
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- Roberts, K., Costelloe, D., Hutchinson, M. et al. Ir J Med Sci (2007) 176: 211. doi:10.1007/s11845-007-0051-9
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To determine the impact of neurological consultations on the care of hospital in-patients and to ascertain patients’ perceptions, referrals were prospectively recorded over a 6-month period. The neurology team’s view and changes suggested to management were documented. All referred patients’ notes were reviewed at 6 months and the impact of a neurology referral was determined.
Two hundred and fifty-four (254) referrals were seen. There was a significant change in diagnosis in 55%, and in management in nearly 70%. Neurological referral facilitated earlier discharge for 65% patients. Thirty-seven of 163 patients contacted at 6 months did not know they were seen by a neurologist. Of those who knew, 57% felt referral had aided in their diagnosis and 86% felt it had aided treatment.
Neurological consultations can make a significant difference to in-patient management. Early referral may lead to early discharge. Patient satisfaction was high but not without criticism.