Consultant-lead telephone follow up clinics - can these save the urology outpatient wait crisis?
BAUS ePoster online library. Lodhia S. Jun 25, 2019; 259489; P12-5
Dr. Siya Lodhia
Dr. Siya Lodhia
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Abstract
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Introduction: To address a chronic outpatient follow-up backlog, we ran Consultant-lead telephone clinics at our District General Hospital for 4months.
METHODS:
Unscreened patients were phoned by our secretaries and offered one hour time slots in day or evening clinics. Four hour clinics were built with 5 patients/hour. Two unanswered calls constituted a DNA. Each Consultant audited at least 1 clinic. Subsequently patients were contacted for feedback.
RESULTS:
114 interactions were audited. 89% of patients answered. Mean call duration was 6.5 minutes (range 2-21) and mean overall time per case was 13.4 minutes (range 4-49) allowing for notes reading, booking tests, prescribing, dictation and data input). 13% of patients required a face-to-face assessment. Half were discharged, a third given further follow-up, 8% booked for theatre. 7% sent a hospital prescription and 29% had tests booked. The physical hospital notes were helpful in 42%.
51 patients gave feedback. 100% felt their consultation was the right length and 97% had all questions addressed. 80% were satisfied/very satisfied. Patients slightly preferred telephone consults to hospital appointments (48% vs 38%).
No patient safety issues have emerged from decisions made in these patients.
CONCLUSIONS:
Though this unselected group were satisfied, we did not realize the efficiencies we had anticipated. Consults were no quicker, DNAs were high despite agreed time-slots, 13% had a futile interaction and notes still had to be pulled. Pre-operative consenting was not possible.
Telephone clinics are acceptable, safe and environmentally friendly. We intend to reopen these in the future only for selected patients
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