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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21673

Title: Mutual perception of communication between general practitioners and hospital-based specialists
Authors: Vermeir, P.
Vandijck, Dominique
Degroote, S.
Ommeslag, D.
Van De Putte, M.
Heytens, S.
Reniers, J.
Hanoulle, I.
Peleman, R.
Vogelaers, D.
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: ACTA CLINICA BELGICA, 70 (5), p. 350-356
Abstract: Background: Communication between general practitioners (GPs) and specialists is an important aspect of qualitative care. Efficient communication exchange is essential and key in guaranteeing continuity of care. Inefficient communication is related to several negative outcomes, including patient harm. This study aimed to investigate the perception of GPs and hospital-based specialists in Belgium of the quality of their mutual communication. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among GPs and specialists. Participants were asked to complete a validated questionnaire on several aspects of their mutual communication. Results: Response rates of 17.9% (343/1.912) for GPs and 17.3% (392/2.263) for specialists were obtained. Both specialists and GPs qualify their mutual telephone accessibility as suboptimal. Specialists think poorly of the GP referral letter, in contrast to GP perception. Eighty per cent of the GPs feel that specialists address their questions appropriately; specialists have a similar perception of their own performance. According to 16.7% of the specialists, GPs not always follow their recommendations. Contrarily, GPs rate their compliance much higher (90.7%). Less than half of the GPs feel that the specialists' letter arrives on time, whereas specialists have a different and a more positive perception. Conclusions: GPs and specialists disagree on several aspects of their mutual communication. These include the perception of accessibility, in both directions, and of the timeliness of written communication. Feedback is positively appreciated, again in both directions. Nevertheless, specialists feel that uptake of their recommendations is insufficient. Hence, there may remain significant room for improvement, which could contribute significantly to continuity of care and patient safety.
Notes: [Vermeir, P.; Vandijck, D.; Degroote, S.; Ommeslag, D.; De Putte, M. Van; Hanoulle, I.; Vogelaers, D.] Ghent Univ Hosp, Dept Gen Internal Med, Ghent, Belgium. [Vermeir, P.; Peleman, R.; Vogelaers, D.] Univ Ghent, Dept Internal Med, Fac Med & Hlth Sci, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium. [Vandijck, D.; Degroote, S.] Univ Ghent, Dept Publ Hlth, Fac Med & Hlth Sci, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium. [Vandijck, D.] Hasselt Univ, Dept Patient Safety Hlth Econ & Healthcare Innova, Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Ommeslag, D.] Gen Hosp Sint Lucas, Ghent, Belgium. [Heytens, S.; Reniers, J.] Univ Ghent, Dept Primary Care Med, Fac Med & Hlth Sci, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21673
DOI: 10.1179/2295333715Y.0000000032
ISI #: 000369183700008
ISSN: 1784-3286
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2017
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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