Referring physicians' knowledge of hand surgery.

Hand 09/2010; 5(3):278-85. DOI: 10.1007/s11552-009-9256-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hand surgeons rely on referrals from general providers. Appropriate referral is dependent upon referring physicians having an understanding of the problem and available treatments. This study evaluates the referring physicians' knowledge and perceptions of basic hand problems and their treatment. This study also evaluates the impact of a brief lecture on our referring physicians' understanding of hand issues. A survey instrument was administered to referring physicians. The instrument addressed general hand knowledge and perceptions toward hand surgery. The physicians also attended a lecture on general hand problems and their treatments. The survey was repeated 2 weeks post-lecture. Subjects had a pre-lecture knowledge score of 65% correct and post-lecture a score of 85%, p < 0.05. The participants were knowledgeable about common hand problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Knowledge gaps did exist, for example, only 37% recognized the symptoms of basilar thumb arthritis. Initially, the referring physicians had less positive views about surgical interventions, such as surgery to help the pain of basilar thumb arthritis. After the lecture, the responders had significantly more favorable attitudes toward surgery. This study found that referring physicians had variable knowledge about common hand problems, and they had doubts relating to the efficacy of some hand surgeries. This study also found that a directed lecture improved these providers' knowledge and their perceptions of hand surgical interventions. Hand surgeons can improve their referring physicians understanding and perceptions of hand surgery through a directed grand rounds type lecture.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine information seeking behavior of physicians. Systematic review of 19 studies that described information seeking behavior in a number of different settings using differing methodologies. Analysis was limited to quantitative studies describing sources of information sought by physicians. Investigators have used questionnaires, interviews and observation to identify the information seeking behavior of clinicians. The results were mainly obtained from trials in the United States and showed a wide variation in primary information sources used by physicians. The most frequent source for information used are text sources, second is asking colleagues and only one study found electronic databases to be the primary resource. Physician's desk reference is the commonest cited printed resource. Convenience of access, habit, reliability, high quality, speed of use, and applicability makes information seeking likely to be successful and to occur. The lack of time to search, the huge amount of material, forgetfulness, the belief that there is likely to be no answer, and the lack of urgency all hinder the process of answering questions. The wide variation in information seeking behavior implies a need for further categorization of information need and information sources. Careful planning of information delivery to physicians is required to enable them to keep up to date and to improve knowledge transfer.
    International Journal of Medical Informatics 09/2003; 71(1):9-15. · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine whether there is regional variation in environmental (non-medical) factors affecting referral decisions of family physicians (FPs). Cross-sectional interview survey. Nova Scotia. A random sample of 125 FPs grouped into 1 of 5 functionally defined geographic regions of Nova Scotia (25 in each group). Groupings were based on access to general hospital beds through active staff hospital appointments or to specialist consultants in the community, or both. Participants were personally interviewed on site. No physician refused an interview. In 9 cases the physician indicated that he or she did not fit the profile of the assigned group; the physician was excluded from the study and the next doctor on the list was substituted. The questionnaire was designed to test several hypotheses about factors known to potentially influence decisions about referral. Geographic differences in factors affecting referral and in decisions about 5 hypothetical cases were assessed with the use of significance tests for proportions that were sensitive to specific orders across groups. Three factors affecting referral showed unequivocal variation across the 5 groups. Access to hospital facilities and remoteness from specialist care, leading to local styles of practice or treatment policies, and the FP's relationship with specialist consultants appeared to be important nonmedical factors affecting referral decisions. For similar case scenarios the physicians living in rural areas would refer only half as often overall as those living in urban areas with tertiary care hospitals; for some cases, such as a severe asthma attack, the difference was more than 7-fold. Significant differences in nonmedical factors affecting referral, and in referral decisions about hypothetical cases, were found between the groups of FPs. Differences in access to resources, creating local styles of practice, appeared to explain most of the variation. The results may account for previously observed differences in actual rates of referral for these particular groups.
    Canadian Medical Association Journal 09/1997; 157(3):265-72. · 5.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This report describes ambulatory care visits to hospital outpatient departments (OPDs) in the United States. Statistics are presented on selected hospital, clinic, patient, and visit characteristics. Highlights of trends in OPD utilization from 1997 through 2000 are also presented. The data presented in this report were collected from the 2000 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). NHAMCS is part of the ambulatory care component of the National Health Care Survey that measures health care utilization across various types of providers. NHAMCS is a national probability sample survey of visits to emergency and outpatient departments of non-Federal, short-stay, and general hospitals in the United States. Sample data are weighted to produce annual national estimates. Trends are based on NHAMCS data from 1997 through 2000. During 2000, an estimated 83.3 million visits were made to hospital OPDs in the United States, about 30.4 visits per 100 persons. Females had higher OPD visit rates than males (35.3 versus 25.2 visits per 100 persons). The OPD utilization rate for black persons was higher than for white persons (48.3 versus 28.0 visits per 100 persons). Of all visits made to hospital OPDs in 2000, private insurance (38.5 percent), Medicaid (22.1 percent), and Medicare (16.9 percent) were listed as the leading primary expected source of payment. Approximately 21 percent of OPD visits reported that patients belonged to an HMO. There were an estimated 9.5 million injury-related OPD visits in 2000. Since 1997, the percent of OPD visits that were for injuries increased by 24% (from 9.2 percent to 1.4 percent). Most of these visits were for unintentional injuries (57.6 percent), including those caused by falls (12.9 percent). Medications were prescribed at 64.0 percent of visits. On average, 1.6 medications were ordered at each OPD visit. In 2000, patients saw one or more physicians (i.e., staff physician, resident/intern, or other physician) at approximately 79 percent of visits. Most patients were given an appointment to return to the clinic (57.2 percent).
    Advance data 07/2002;

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 17, 2014