Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas
versión impresa ISSN 1130-0108
HERRERIAS GUTIERREZ, J. M. et al. A high-resolution gastroenterology clinic in Andalusia: What is it, and how should it work?. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2008, vol.100, n.1, pp.5-10. ISSN 1130-0108.
Introduction: the present concept in our healthcare system is that medical care should be given on an outpatient basis with hospitalization occurring only when essential. We therefore put forth the development of the "all in one" outpatient office or "high resolution" outpatient clinic. For such purpose we administered a questionnaire to various Andalusian hospitals to define and determine those aspects necessary in the development of the aforementioned outpatient office. Materials and methods: the questionnaire was filled out by 10 Andalusian hospitals. This is a prospective-descriptive study of responses from all 10 participating hospitals. The 27 questions inquired on the existence of such an outpatient office and the infrastructure needed to develop this service: How many patients are seen, where is it physically located, where do patients come from, criteria for assigning patients to this medical office, condition of incoming patients, whether ultrasound scans are performed, whether an integrated hospital computer system exists, nursing staff, how many visits are required before coming to a diagnosis, and finally whether this type of outpatient office is needed, and if so, why. Results: of all 10 hospitals, 5 of them had this type of clinic. All of them considered this type of outpatient service essential. The number of patients treated should be "10", in the hospital itself. There are differences as to whether patients should come from the emergency room or a primary care physician. It seems logical to assume that only patients who can be diagnosed via ultrasounds or endoscopy should be chosen. To allow an ultrasonogram the patient should visit the outpatient office in a state of "fasting" and with standard blood counts from the primary care physician. The outpatient clinic should have a computer system and its own nurse. According to participating hospitals this type of outpatient visits is very useful in our present healthcare system, as it allows higher levels of collaboration between Primary Care and the specialist; it also provides a rapid orientation regarding patient pathology, and acts as a "filter" for the rest of the healthcare system. Conclusions: the outpatient office should be tended to by an attending specialist in the field (FEA) with knowledge and experience in ultrasounds and gastrointestinal endoscopy, as well as user competency with the required computer programs. In our present-day system this can be considered a modality of high-resolution outpatient services and a model of efficiency.
Palabras clave : High resolution outpatient clinic; Gastroenterology outpatient offices.