An audit and patient satisfaction survey of the telephone endocrine clinic at University Hospital Lewisham, London
O. Mustafa, J. Gan, K. Evans, C. Mohandas & J. Miell
Introduction: The telephone endocrine clinic (TEC) was established as an adjunct to the face-to-face endocrine clinic to follow and monitor the progress in a selected group of patients after they were seen in main endocrine clinics. This model of care has been tried successfully in other specialities but not as widespread in endocrinology. We audited the effectiveness of TEC and patient satisfaction. Methods: A retrospective analysis of records of all patients contacted in TEC in 2010 (n=209, 79% female). Six patients were excluded due to incomplete data. Mean age was 46.26years (range 2085). Patient satisfaction was assessed through a postal questionnaire. Results: The 203 patients identified had a total of 735 telephone encounters (March 2005-July 2011). The mean telephone encounters were 3.62±2.22 per patient (range 111). There were 203 failed telephone encounters (1±1.09 per patient, range 05). Conditions managed include: Graves disease including during pregnancy (43%), other thyrotoxicosis (14%), primary hypothyroidism including during pregnancy (10%), post-radioiodine hypothyroidism (6%), prolactinoma (11%), post-thyroid/parathyroid surgery (4%), hypocalcaemia/hypercalcaemia/hypovitaminosis D (2%), testosterone replacement (2%). Fifty-five percent (n=111) of patients were discharged to GP at the end of follow-up and 10% (n=21) were referred back to the main endocrine clinics because of patients choice or changes to their clinical status that could not be dealt within the TEC. Two patients (1%) were lost to follow-up. Eighty percent of patients surveyed were satisfied most or all of the time and 75% said that the TEC was convenient for them. Eighteen percent would have preferred a face-to-face consultation instead. Conclusions: This model of telephone consultation service is effective and convenient for patients. Our data shows that this model is a useful adjunct to the main endocrine clinic in selected cases, which would free up clinic slots to for new patients, decrease waiting time and manage more complicated cases.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector