A Neurologist’s Hard Day’s Work: Impact of Inpatient Neurology Consultation in a Tertiary Hospital

Helena Rocha, Ana Monteiro, Tiago Gomes, Miguel Grilo, Marta Carvalho


Introduction: Consultation of hospitalized patients under the responsibility of other specialties is a very demanding work. However, it is often under-recognized and poorly documented. The aim of the present study was to assess the burden of the inpatient neurology consultation in a Portuguese hospital and to evaluate the performance of our Neurology department regarding this issue.
Material and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted during 2013, reviewing clinical and demographic data.
Results: Over one year, the neurologists of our department evaluated 632 inpatients. The commonest reasons for consultation were altered mental state/behavior, focal neurological deficit and seizures. Requests came mainly from medical departments but also from Intermediate and Intensive Care Units. Neurologists suggested further investigation in almost one half of patients and management changes in a similar proportion of patients. A new diagnosis could be established in 63% of cases and the most frequent diagnosis were neurological manifestations of systemic disorders, epilepsy and cerebrovascular disease. Our intervention had impact on the care of 68% of patients.
Discussion and Conclusion: Different studies in the literature support our findings and highlight the economic and patient care benefits of this activity. Our results suggest that neurological inpatient observation generates useful interventions for the clinical management of these patients.


Inpatients; Neurology; Quality of Health Care; Referral and Consultation.

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