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The provision of an efficient consultation service is essential to the efficient functioning of any hospital. Surprisingly little is known about this activity. We present the first reported evaluation of a cardiology consultation service in an attempt to determine the characteristics, efficiency and workload implications of such a service. We performed an audit of the in-patient cardiology consultation service over a four week period. During this period, 125 consultations were seen, of which 85 (68%) were requested by medical specialties. Consultations were seen in a timely fashion, with 76 (61%) being seen on the same day that the request was received. The most common problem was chest pain, (49 patients; 38%) which was felt to be of cardiac origin in only a minority (20; 40%) of cases. Consultations had significant resource implications for our department, with 35 (28%) procedures being performed, 25 (20%) patients' care being taken over, and a further 27 (21.6%) new out-patient referrals generated. Our results indicate that the consultation service considered was efficiently delivered but contributed significantly to the department's workload. The most frequent consultation request was for chest pain that was often non-cardiac in nature.


E Cronin, I Graham. When are you seeing my patient?"--an analysis of the cardiology consultation service in a teaching hospital. Irish medical journal. 2010 May;103(5):144-6

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PMID: 20666086

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