Randomised trial of a patient held record on the communication with general practitioners in patients with HIV infection

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Good communication between general practitioners, specialised medical and paramedical services has been hampered by large delays between the dictation and arrival of letters from hospitals. Our aim was to determine if a patient held record could reduce the number of letters and telephone calls made between hospital personnel and general practitioner for patients with human immune deficiency virus (HIV) infection. Patients with HIV infection were randomised to received either a 'real' patient held record, or a 'control' patient held record and prospectively followed. Twenty of the 41 patients randomised to the study had records available for analysis. Eight of the 20 available patients were randomised to the real records and 12 to control records. Both groups were well matched. From the information recorded in the patient held record, 19.0% of hospital visits by participants with a real patient held record resulted in a letter compared to 68.7% for participants with a control patient held record (P=0.001). The real patient held record resulted in considerably fewer letters and was considered to facilitate communication by the medical practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-227
Number of pages2
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

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