Liaison neurologists facilitate accurate neurological diagnosis and management, resulting in substantial savings in the cost of inpatient care
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Despite understaffing of neurology services in Ireland, the demand for liaison neurologist input into the care of hospital inpatients is increasing. This aspect of the workload of the neurologist is often under recognised.
We prospectively recorded data on referral and service delivery patterns to a liaison neurology service, the neurological conditions encountered, and the impact of neurology input on patient care.
Over a 13-month period, 669 consults were audited. Of these, 79% of patients were seen within 48 h and 86% of patients were assessed by a consultant neurologist before discharge. Management was changed in 69% cases, and discharge from hospital expedited in 50%. If adequate resources for neurological assessment had been available, 28% could have been seen as outpatients, with projected savings of 857 bed days.
Investment in neurology services would facilitate early accurate diagnosis, efficient patient and bed management, with substantial savings.
KeywordsLiaison neurologist Consultant-delivered consult service Prospective audit Diagnosis and management Inter-observer agreement Bed days saved
Dr. Justin Kinsella’s research was funded by grants from the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, and by unrestricted educational grant funding from Bayer Schering Ireland, Pfizer Ireland and Elitech UK.
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