Study: Primary care physicians and specialists not communicating well

February 10, 2011

Primary care physicians and specialists believe they are providing adequate patient data to each other during referrals and consultations, but an analysis of a survey published in January 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that perception may be incorrect.

Both primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists believe they are providing adequate patient data to each other during referrals and consultations, but an analysis of a survey published in the January 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that perception may be incorrect. The survey results show 69.3% of PCPs reported "always" or "most of the time" sending notification of a patient's history and reason for consultation to specialists, but only 34.8% of specialists said they "always" or "most of the time" received such notification. Similarly, 80.6% of specialists said they "always" or "most of the time" send consultation results to the referring PCP, but only 62.2% of PCPs said they received such information.