Purpose: This study sought to examine an inpatient consultation service delivery system at an academic teaching hospital. Method: Descriptive; retrospective; exploratory. Data from a 33 month period were analysed. Demographic profiles of patients receiving consultation were examined. A comparison was also made between alternate methods of delivering physiatric consultation. Results: Only 80% of patients admitted to a teaching hospital during the study period received consultation. Referrals increased by 75% with the institution of a full-time consultation practice model. Conclusions: The utilization of an inpatient consultation service appears to be dependent upon the service delivery format. Further studies are needed to understand referral patterns and specific challenges to consultation services in an academic setting. Future research should focus on comparing clinical outcomes for patients in diagnostic categories who do and do not receive physiatric consultation.
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