Evaluation of medical consultation letters at King Fahd Hospital, Al Hufuf, Saudi Arabia
AbstractBackground: In surgical wards, it is of paramount importance to communicate with other health care providers, mostly physicians, referring patients to them for their consultation on any health conditions that affect pre-operative, operative and post-operative patient care. The purposes of this investigation were to assess the appropriateness of physician responses in medical consultation reports and compare physician responses when using these reports from different levels of health care providers. Methods: This study was conducted in Al-Hufuf, Saudi Arabia. The researchers evaluated all the surgical consultation letters in the files during the period be¬tween March 2010 and March 2011. From the explored 234 files, only 200 consultation letters were chosen as there was a referral data plus consultation data in the same file. We evaluated the quality of consultation report included the ethical concerns towards colleagues and patient, consideration of patient safety in all opinions, comprehensive pertinent scientific information, addressing the patient’s medical condition with putting possible differential diagnosis, conclusion and precise management plans suggested. Results: The results showed that the specialists' consultation letters had the highest percentage of fulfillment of all the six items in the consultation report. There is no uniform existing consultation report form. Conclusion: Specialist form showed the highest number of mentioning the diagnosis. Consultant form showed the highest number of mentioning the concise aim of referral. The highest percentage of all categories mentioned all items in consultation report with a good level were the specialists.
Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 12:54