Only 62% of referring PCPs received consultation results from specialists

Communication between primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists regarding referrals and consultations is often inadequate, with negative consequences for patients.

A study found that perceptions of communication regarding referrals and consultations differed.

For example, 69% of PCPs reported "always" or "most of the time" sending notification of a patient's history and reason for consultation to specialists, but only 34.8% of specialists said they "always" or "most of the time" received such notification.

Similarly, 80.6% of specialists said they "always" or "most of the time" send consultation results to the referring PCP, but only 62% of PCPs said they received such information.

The 3 practice characteristics associated with PCPs and specialists reporting good communication regarding referrals and consultations were:

- "adequate" visit time with patients
- receipt of quality reports regarding patients with chronic conditions
- nurse support for monitoring patients with chronic conditions

Twitter comments:

@westr: Case for EHRs...

@Kind4Kids: but then the inpatient and outpatient EHR need to "communicate".

@GruntDoc: 0% of ED docs... -- Only 62% of referring PCPs received consultation results from specialists

References:

Referral and Consultation Communication Between Primary Care and Specialist Physicians. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(1):56-65. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.480

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