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Improving correspondence to general practitioners regarding patients attending the ENT emergency clinic: a regional general practitioner survey and audit

Improving correspondence to general practitioners regarding patients attending the ENT emergency clinic: a regional general practitioner survey and audit

Journal of Laryngology and Otology 121(12): 1189-1193

The ENT emergency clinic provides an important out-patient service; however, often, no correspondence is sent to the general practitioner. To conduct a general practitioner questionnaire audit in order to assess whether a standardised, computerised clinic letter template could improve communication between the ENT emergency clinic and patients' general practitioners. All ENT emergency clinic patients should have a summary letter sent to their general practitioner. One hundred general practitioner questionnaires were enclosed with the first 100 ENT emergency clinic template letters sent to patients' general practitioners. Seventy-two general practitioners responded (72 per cent). Of these respondents, only 7 per cent had previously received regular correspondence from the ENT emergency clinic before the introduction of the computerised letter template. Following its implementation, such a letter was sent to 100 per cent of the clinic patients' general practitioners. Ninety-seven per cent of the general practitioners valued the template letter, with a mean satisfaction score of 8.4 on a 10-point scale. Eighty-six per cent of the general practitioners stated that they would not prefer a dictated letter. The introduction of a simple, computerised clinic letter template improves communication with ENT emergency clinic patients' general practitioners.

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Accession: 021175554

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17908346

DOI: 10.1017/s0022215107000746

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