J Korean Acad Fam Med.  2008 May;29(5):325-329.

Family Physician's Encounter Increases Patients' Satisfaction during Self-referral in a University Hospital

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. fmhwang@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Hanmaeum General Hospital, Jeju, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: After referral system had been established, patients wishing to consult with a specialist with 'self- referral' in mind is increasing in university hospital family medicine clinics. This study was conducted to know whether those by self-referral to a specialist in a university hospital could benefit from family physician's consultation or not.
METHODS
Three hundred and sixty patients were serially assigned to either 'simple referral' group provided with a referral note without consultation or 'referral after consultation' group with consultation from a family physician. Patient satisfaction was rated by using questionnaires with 5-point Likert scale.
RESULTS
Patients in the 'simple referral' group were more satisfied with the whole process of family physicians' consultation compared to the 'referral after practice' group in both the appropriateness and patient satisfaction of the consultation (both, P<0.001). Males, longer encounter time, and shorter waiting time were significantly influenced patient satisfaction compared to each counterpart.
CONCLUSION
Patients who want only a referral note from a family physician in a university hospital may received some benefit from the coordination and comprehensive care by a family physician. Health delivery system should be rectified according to the consideration of the role of the primary care physician such as a family physician.

Keyword

referral; satisfaction; patient; family medicine; consultation
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