Scope of resident ophthalmology consultation service and patient follow-up rates at a level 1 trauma center in Brooklyn, New York
Allison E Rizzuti, Marianna Vastardi, Mohammedyusuf Hajee, Douglas R Lazzaro
Departments of Ophthalmology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the most common reasons for urgent ophthalmology consultations in both the emergency room and inpatient settings at a large public hospital served by a busy ophthalmology residency program, and to track patient follow-up rates.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all patients evaluated by the ophthalmology consultation service at Kings County Hospital Center from June 2003 to October 2005 using a retrospective hospital-based study design. We categorized emergency room patients and inpatients into traumatic and nontraumatic subgroups, and looked at diagnoses and patient demographics, as well as follow-up patterns for emergency room consultations.
Results: In total, 743 patients were evaluated; 436 (59%) were emergency room patients and 307 (41%) were inpatients. Consultation for traumatic eye injury was provided for 399 patients (54%), accounting for 284 (65%) of the emergency room consults and 115 (37.5%) of the inpatient consults. The most common reason for inpatient consultation was to rule out ocular manifestations of systemic disease (57 patients, 29.7%), while the most common final diagnosis for trauma inpatient consultation was orbital wall fracture (59 patients, 51.3%). In total, 262 patients (60%) in the emergency room consultation group returned for follow-up care; 162 (57%) of the trauma patients followed up and 100 (66%) of the nontrauma patients followed up.
Conclusion: This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the eye conditions and follow-up rates evaluated by the ophthalmology service at Kings County Hospital Center. By evaluating the follow-up patterns of these patients, we may be able to alter patient counseling to increase patient compliance.
Keywords: ophthalmology, residency program, urgent consultation, inpatients, outpatients, follow-up
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