Direct access day case oral surgery

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    Objective To compare the effectiveness of direct access referrals with standard letter referrals, and also assess the impact of the direct access system on the primary care provider, secondary sector and from the patients perspective. Design Surgical and anaesthetic guidelines were agreed and 12 general dental practitioners were recruited to participate in the study. Each practitioner was given 100 envelopes which contained randomly allocated 50 direct and 50 standard referrals. For direct referrals, GDPs completed a pre-operative assessment and obtained an operation date by telephone from the day case unit while the patient was in the surgery. The clinical history sheet was faxed to the day unit and the radiographs posted. The only contact the patient had with the hospital was on the day of surgery. Standard referral patients were referred in the traditional way with a referral letter being sent to an out-patient clinic. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the direct referral system versus standard letter method were made via completion of questionnaires by the patients, dental practitioners, hospital clinicians, day case anaesthetist and co-ordinator. Setting The study was carried out over 2 years commencing in 1997 at the Oral Surgery Day Case Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Results A greater number of direct access referrals (409; 90%) were treated in comparison with (312; 75%) standard referrals (P 0.001). Eighty nine per cent of direct access records were adequate pre-operatively. More than 70% of dentists and hospital clinicians preferred the direct access referral method. Sixty-three per cent of standard letter patients were satisfied with their mode of referral compared with 87% of direct access patients. Conclusions Given appropriate guidelines dental practitioners are able to refer directly to oral surgery day case operation lists. This has proved to be the favoured method of referral for dental practitioners, the secondary sector and patients. © British Dental Journal 2000;.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)452-456
    Number of pages4
    JournalBritish Dental Journal
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Adolescent
    • Adult
    • statistics & numerical data: Ambulatory Surgical Procedures
    • Attitude of Health Personnel
    • statistics & numerical data: Dental Service, Hospital
    • organization & administration: General Practice, Dental
    • Great Britain
    • Humans
    • Middle Aged
    • statistics & numerical data: Oral Surgical Procedures
    • Patient Satisfaction
    • Questionnaires
    • Random Allocation
    • organization & administration: Referral and Consultation
    • organization & administration: Surgery, Oral


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