Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research, "From the year 2001, all PCPs had to use a paper-based manual (group 1); instead from 2008, specialists began to use a computer based tool, whereby the priority category reassigned to each patient by specialists promptly appeared on PCPs' computers (group 2). During the course of 2010, the manual was incorporated in ERSS and was used by a subgroup of PCPs (group 3). Agreement between PCPs and specialists' priority assignments was evaluated by the kappa statistic. In group 1, the kappa statistic was 0.564 (95% CI = 0.526-0.602); in group 2, the kappa statistic was 0.668 (95% CI = 0.619-0.716); whereas in group 3 (that used ERSS) a very high kappa statistic emerged of 0.883 (95% CI = 0.854-0.912). There was a significant difference in the proportion of agreement among the three groups (chi(2) = 182.5, 2 df, p< .0001). A significant difference in statistics was also observed in the proportion of priority levels used by PCPs over the years."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Our results emphasize the positive effect of feedback and ERSS for improving referral activity and agreement between PCPs and specialists."
For more information on this research see: Improving referral activity on primary-secondary care interface using an electronic decision support system.
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from G. Mariotti, LHU APSS, Informat Technol Serv, I-38068 Rovereto,
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