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Primary care physician referral patterns in Ontario, Canada: a descriptive analysis of self-reported referral data

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Family Practice, August 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (55th percentile)

Mentioned by

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3 tweeters

Citations

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12 Dimensions

Readers on

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75 Mendeley
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Title
Primary care physician referral patterns in Ontario, Canada: a descriptive analysis of self-reported referral data
Published in
BMC Family Practice, August 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12875-017-0654-9
Pubmed ID
Authors

Clare Liddy, Sadaf Arbab-Tafti, Isabella Moroz, Erin Keely

Abstract

In many countries, the referral-consultation process faces a number of challenges from inefficiencies and rising demand, resulting in excessive wait times for many specialties. We collected referral data from a sample of family doctors across the province of Ontario, Canada as part of a larger program of research. The purpose of this study is to describe referral patterns from primary care to specialist and allied health services from the primary care perspective. We conducted a prospective study of patient referral data submitted by primary care providers (PCP) from 20 clinics across Ontario between June 2014 and January 2016. Monthly referral volumes expressed as a total number of referrals to all medical and allied health professionals per month. For each referral, we also collected data on the specialty type, reason for referral, and whether the referral was for a procedure. PCPs submitted a median of 26 referrals per month (interquartile range 11.5 to 31.8). Of 9509 referrals eligible for analysis, 97.8% were directed to medical professionals and 2.2% to allied health professionals. 55% of medical referrals were directed to non-surgical specialties and 44.8% to surgical specialties. Medical referrals were for procedures in 30.8% of cases and non-procedural in 40.9%. Gastroenterology received the largest share (11.2%) of medical referrals, of which 62.3% were for colonoscopies. Psychology received the largest share (28.3%) of referrals to allied health professionals. We described patterns of patient referral from primary care to specialist and allied health services for 30 PCPs in 20 clinics across Ontario. Gastroenterology received the largest share of referrals, nearly two-thirds of which were for colonoscopies. Future studies should explore the use of virtual care to help manage non-procedural referrals and examine the impact that procedural referrals have on wait times for gastroenterology.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 75 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 75 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 12 16%
Researcher 10 13%
Student > Master 9 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 5%
Student > Postgraduate 4 5%
Other 13 17%
Unknown 23 31%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 22 29%
Nursing and Health Professions 8 11%
Business, Management and Accounting 5 7%
Unspecified 3 4%
Psychology 3 4%
Other 10 13%
Unknown 24 32%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 11 December 2017.
All research outputs
#6,629,798
of 12,281,604 outputs
Outputs from BMC Family Practice
#663
of 1,214 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#113,551
of 268,208 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Family Practice
#5
of 6 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,281,604 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,214 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.0. This one is in the 42nd percentile – i.e., 42% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 268,208 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 6 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one.