Qf2.1 Establishment Of A Family Physician Based Triage Clinic - Effect On General Outpatient Clinic (Gopc)

Author(s): 
K. Kung, A. Lam, G. Chan, P.K.T. Li
Family Medicine Training Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong
Text: 
Introduction.
Waiting time for the first medical specialist outpatient clinic (SOPC) appointment is dependent on individual patient’s clinical condition. Increasing demands on resources have resulted in long waiting times for non-urgent cases. The current triaging of medical referrals take place at the level of medical SOPCs. A family medicine based triage clinic was set up in our centre with an aim to improve referral rates
Aim
To assess whether the new triage clinic at FMTC of PWH will reduce total and non-urgent referrals to medical SOPCs from general outpatient clinics (GOPCs)
Method.
Referral statistics both before and after the establishment of the PWH triage clinic were directly compared. Other outcome measures collected include patient demographics, investigation rate and the number of cases requiring further specialist referrals.
Results.
Number of referrals received by medical SOPC from GOPC was reduced by 41% and 27% in the first two months. The total number of referrals from GOPCs (sum of medical SOPC referrals and triage clinic) were also reduced. After consultations at triage clinic, 63% of cases required no further investigations. 67% of cases of triage clinic were case-closed without the need for further referral to medical SOPC. Further data are being collected.
Conclusion.
Preliminary data analysis shows that setting up of triage clinic helps to reduce workload at medical specialist clinics, without shifting the workload to triage clinic. FM based triage clinic is a good illustration of gatekeeper role of family physicians.
Literature: 
QF2.1 ESTABLISHMENT OF A FAMILY PHYSICIAN BASED TRIAGE CLINIC - EFFECT ON GENERAL OUTPATIENT CLINIC (GOPC)