Hong Kong Med J 2000;6:24–8 | Number 1, March 2000
Patterns of referral to the paediatric specialist clinic of a regional hospital: descriptive study
Department of Paediatrics, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, 3 Lok Man Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To study the patterns of referral to a paediatric specialist out-patient clinic.
DESIGN. Descriptive study.
SETTING. Regional hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. The 1985 referral letters of patients who were referred to the paediatric specialist clinic during 1998 were studied.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Common referral diagnoses according to sources of referral.
RESULTS. The common sources of referral were maternal and child health centres (34.7%), accident and emergency departments (26.9%), the Student Health Service (12.9%), private practitioners (10.5%), and general out-patient clinics (9.8%). The common referral diagnoses from maternal and child health centres (n=689) were growth problems (37.7%), heart murmurs (16.8%), and neonatal jaundice (10.9%). Asthma or suspected asthma constituted the majority of referrals from accident and emergency departments (227/533; 42.6%). Deviations in growth (41.4%), problems regarding puberty (13.7%), apparent heart problems (13.3%), and nocturnal enuresis (11.7%) were the common referral diagnoses from the Student Health Service (n=256).
CONCLUSION. Studying referral patterns from various sources is helpful in organising medical services and identifying training needs.
Key words: Child; Outpatient clinics, hospital/utilization; Referral and consultation/statistics & numerical data
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