The urological referral process from Primary Health Care. Reflections on referral criteria - Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The flow of patients between Primary Care (PC) and Specialized care (SC) is a common process.

It carries many implications for the patient, physician and health system. In Urology, only benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has referral criteria. Urinary incontinence, prostate cancer (PCa), and urological ultrasound, are in the process. The aim of this paper is to communicate, with critical analysis, the characteristics of the information recorded in the referral visit (clinical reasons / rationale) and the effectiveness for urology consultation.

METHODS: Observational, descriptive and quantitative study of the referral visits made between PC/SC (Urology) in the health care area of our hospital (December 2010-September 2012). We studied: Referral Visit Database (RVD), consultation document, HORUS system, and specific referral visit survey questionnaire.

RESULTS: Referral visits account for 67.89% (all first consultations), 14.79% of the total number of visits. 78% were male (mean age 53 y.o). 11.84% recorded reason for consultation (98% in referral document) with normal priority (94.67%). 34% of them were for BPH. HORUS is not exploited for the referral visit. 40% start the diagnostic process with insufficient exams. 18.1% are listed as closed process / completed. Patient satisfaction was evaluated (20%). Key points in the improvement are: improve referral visit reason for consultations, to know patient's expectations, and to develop protocols (guidelines, and/or referral criteria).

CONCLUSIONS: The referral process is complex. The computer system does not include the referral reason for consultation. Institutional agreement between PC/SC Urology must be reached to ensure uniformity in the implementation and support.

Written by:
González Enguita C, Sánchez Encinas M, Carbonero García M, Cabello Benavente R, García Cardoso JV, Dodero de Solano FJ, Gómez Martín O, Sanchez Noriega ML.   Are you the author?
Servicio de Urología Corporativa idcsalud Hospitales Madrid (H.U Fundación Jiménez Díaz, H.U Infanta Elena Valdemoro-Madrid, H.U Rey Juan Carlos Móstoles-Madrid).

Reference: Arch Esp Urol. 2014 Nov;67(9):748-758.

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25407148

Article in English, Spanish. Urology-Training & Practice Section