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Effect of Pre-Appointment Consult Triage Evaluated

Arthritis Care Res; ePub 2018 Jul 12; West, et al

Pre‐appointment consult screening is an effective method to identify patients with an autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic disease (AIRD), a recent study found. Using data recorded in the electronic medical record, all new outpatient rheumatology consults sent during a 9-month period were retrospectively analyzed for final diagnosis and revenue generation for routine outpatient care over 1 year following consult review or initial evaluation. Researchers found:

  • A total of 961 consults were received and underwent pre‐appointment triage.
  • Overall, 673 consults were approved for AIRD evaluation and 288 consults were declined to be seen.
  • Patients were seen an average of 13 days after consult review.
  • Of approved consults, 597 came for evaluation with 357 diagnosed as having an AIRD and 240 with a non‐AIRD.
  • Of the declined consults, 128 had 1-year follow up data with 6 patients eventually diagnosed as having an AIRD (consult triage sensitivity 98%, positive predictive value 60%).
  • The consult triage system allowed more AIRD patients to be seen over a 1-year period.


West SG, Pearson DW, Striebich CC, Goecker R, Kolfenbach JR. The effect of pre‐appointment consult triage on patient selection and revenue generation in a university rheumatology practice. [Published online ahead of print July 12, 2018]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23701.

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