Prospective tracking of pediatric urology consults: knowing is half the battle.
PURPOSE: The planned clinical activity of pediatric urologists has been well described. However, little is known about nonscheduled work (eg consultation requests). We describe the unplanned clinical activity of pediatric urologists at a high volume academic medical center. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Demographic data regarding inpatient, operating room and emergency department pediatric urology consults were prospectively entered into an internal database. Consults from July 2008 through June 2010 underwent retrospective chart abstraction to identify reasons for consultation. Bivariate and multivariate statistics were used to evaluate 1) temporal trends in unplanned clinical activity, and 2) patient and service specific factors associated with whether a consult was billable (ie seen by attending physician within 24 hours). RESULTS: During the study period 665 pediatric consults were obtained. Mean ± SD patient age was 8.4 ± 7.7 years. Nearly all consults were seen at the emergency department (51%) or the inpatient wards (47%). The most common primary diagnoses were infection, obstruction/hydronephrosis and neurogenic bladder. The number of consults per month decreased during the course of the academic year (r(2) = 0.1422). Nearly three fourths of consults were eligible for billing. The factors associated with consult eligibility for billing included specific attending physician (p = 0.03), location (p <0.0001) and house officer experience (p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: At our academic pediatric hospital we averaged nearly 1 unplanned pediatric urology consult per day. Several service specific factors (unrelated to patient diagnosis or acuity) were associated with whether the consult had the potential to generate revenue. Unplanned clinical activity is an important factor to consider when planning departmental funding, staffing and training.
Johnson, EK; Filson, CP; Faerber, GJ; Park, JM; Bloom, DA; Wan, J
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