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DETELPROG Study. Effectiveness of a New Model of Scheduled Telephone Referral from Primary Care to Internal Medicine. A Randomised Controlled Study

1
Family and Community Medicine, Valverde del Camino Health Centre, 21600 Huelva, Spain
2
Andalusian School of Public Health, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, 18080 Granada, Spain
3
School of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Podiatry, University of Sevilla, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
4
Department of Sociology, Social Work and Public Health, University of Huelva, 21007 Huelva, Spain
5
Safety and Health Posgrade Program, Universidad Espíritu Santo, Guayaquil 091650, Ecuador
6
General Directorate of Health Assistance-Aragonese Health Service, 50071 Zaragoza, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(5), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050688
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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Abstract

In Spain, the average waiting time for a specialist consultation is 58 days. A determinant factor that contributes to this situation is the poor communication between primary care and specialised care, which is mainly due to the waiting days for a consultation, number of avoided/avoidable face-to-face referrals, and waiting days for the resolution of the process. DETELPROG is a referral system in which the family physician requests a scheduled outpatient internal medicine consultation, integrated into the usual consultations agenda of both physicians, the family, and the outpatient clinic physician, in order to have a telephone consultation. A randomized controlled clinical trial has been carried out to assess the effectiveness of DELTELPROG. In a sample of 255 patients, the experimental group was referred via a scheduled telephone call, and those in the control group, by face-to-face hospital consultation area. The results showed statistically significant differences between both groups of 27 days (95% confidence interval (CI): 20–33) regarding specialised consultation, 47 days (95% CI: 17–74) as for the resolution of the process, and 91.7% for avoided face-to-face consultations. The DETELPROG resulted as a low coverage system (53%), which makes it a complementary referral model. It is necessary to make an in-depth analysis of the causes that have led to this technologically low coverage. View Full-Text
Keywords: referral; eConsult; curbside consultation; telemedicine; primary health care; waiting list; patient safety; quality of health care referral; eConsult; curbside consultation; telemedicine; primary health care; waiting list; patient safety; quality of health care
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MDPI and ACS Style

Azogil-López, L.M.; Pérez-Lázaro, J.J.; Medrano-Sánchez, E.M.; Gómez-Salgado, J.; Coronado-Vázquez, V. DETELPROG Study. Effectiveness of a New Model of Scheduled Telephone Referral from Primary Care to Internal Medicine. A Randomised Controlled Study. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 688.

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