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Modernising inpatient referral systems: switching from ‘on call’ to ‘online’
  1. Oliver Jonathan Ziff1,2,
  2. Emma Routledge1,
  3. Chris Turner1,2,
  4. Arvind Chandratheva1,2
  1. 1 National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, University College London Institute of Neurology, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oliver Jonathan Ziff, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London WC1N 3BG, UK; o.ziff{at}ucl.ac.uk

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We would like to commend Rahman et al for their work highlighting the reasons for delays in inpatient consultations.1 The authors found that miscommunication between referring and receiving teams was responsible for 34% of all delays each with an average delay of 1.6 days in length of stay (combining communication and power dynamic categories). Miscommunication is avoidable and modifiable and should become a priority target for quality improvement projects.

At University College London Hospital, in Neurology, we have switched from a mobile phone service to an email referral system in November 2018. We quantitatively evaluated both the phone call-log in October 2018 and the new referral email inbox in January 2019 (table 1). With our phone system, 63% of incoming calls were missed and 44% of outgoing calls were …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors OJZ designed the study concept, contributed to data extraction and drafting of the manuscript. ER performed data extraction and drafting of the manuscript. OJZ and ER contributed equally. CT contributed to the study concept and critical revision of the manuscript. AC led the study group, contributed to the study concept and drafting of the manuscript. He is the guarantor of the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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