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Reasons for outpatient consultation in allergy/immunology

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Abstract:

There is little data in the literature regarding outpatient consultation in allergy/immunology (A/I). The purpose of this study was to determine the relative frequency of different reasons for A/I outpatient consultation to help guide graduate medical education (GME) and assist with A/I practice management. We retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical records of all outpatient A/I consultations from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006. The study was performed at our tertiary care referral center which is a GME training site. There were 1412 A/I consults requested during the 1-year period. The consults per month ranged from a low of 69 to a high of 157. The referrals consisted of 35% pediatric and 65% adult patients. There were 52.8% female and 47.2% male patients. We received 74.3% of referrals from primary care, 19.8% from specialty care, and 5.9% from the emergency department. The most common reasons for consultation included 808 (57.2%) patients for chronic rhinitis, 288 (20.4%) for asthma, 196 (13.9%) for food allergy, 89 (6.3%) for venom allergy, 68 (4.8%) for atopic dermatitis, 66 (4.7%) for drug allergy, 62 (4.4%) for chronic urticaria, 45 (3.2%) for acute urticaria, 34 (2.4%) for immunodeficiency, 31 (2.2%) for anaphylaxis, and 162 (11.5%) for other reasons. More than one reason was given for 27.1% of consults, and there was an average of 1.3 reasons for consultation per patient. Although the allergist/immunologist is consulted for a variety of reasons, the top three reasons make up a majority of outpatient consults, and consults are often requested to address more than one diagnosis.

Keywords: Allergic diagnoses; allergy/immunology; epidemiology; graduate medical education; outpatient consultation; outpatient referral; practice management

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2500/aap.2009.30.3195

Affiliations: Department of Allergy/Immunology, Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas

Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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