Consultation in university-based and community-based infectious disease practices: a prospective study.
Infectious disease physicians in university and community practices completed a standard data form following each of 1,366 inpatient consultations during a 7-month period. The rate of consultation was higher in the university practice than in the community practice (3.4 vs. 1.8 per 100 discharges, respectively). Known or suspected bacterial pathogens accounted for more than half of all consultations in both practice groups. The three organ systems most commonly affected by infection were pulmonary (20% in university practice vs. 19% in community practice), skin and soft tissue (13% in university practice vs. 20% in community practice), and musculoskeletal (12% in university practice vs. 16% in community practice). Bloodstream infection, pneumonia, unexplained fever, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infection, and cellulitis were the six most common disease processes that led to consultation in both practice groups. The percentage of patients with noninfectious diseases and the percentage for whom a change in antimicrobial therapy was advised was nearly identical in both practice settings. Physicians in private practice performed more consultations on weekends (20% vs. 11% in university practices, P < .001) and between 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. (15% vs. 6% in university practices, P < .001). The scope and diversity of the work of consultants in community practices are nearly identical to those of their colleagues in university-based practices.
Sexton, DJ; Corey, GR; Ingram, CW; Morris, VM; Haywood, HB
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