Introduction: Our hospital operates a consultant-led, rapid review process of X-rays and case notes of all musculoskeletal injury patients on a daily basis. This compares with other centres where patients are reviewed in out-patient fracture clinics soon after injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of this consultant-led, rapid review process compared to standard consultant fracture clinics.
Patients and methods: A prospective study of the rapid review process over 4 weeks of all musculoskeletal injury patients was conducted. The total number of patients referred per day, time taken to review these patients X-rays and case notes, number of recalls and reason for recall were documented. This was compared to consultant-led fracture clinics, which included time taken to review patients.
Results: A total of 797 patients were processed through the rapid review over 4 weeks: 53 (6%) patients were recalled, 32 (4%) for a change of management and 21 (2.6%) because of lack of information. The mean number of patients referred per day was 28 taking a mean of 28 min; thus the mean time to review one patient was 1.0 min. The mean number of patients recalled per day was two. The mean time taken to review a patient in a standard fracture clinic was 11 min. Therefore, the total time that would have taken to review 28 patients in a standard fracture clinic would be 308 min.
Conclusions: A consultant-led, rapid review process of all patients with musculoskeletal injury is a very efficient process. The rapid review process saves clinic time and resources, minimises delays in clinical decision-making and saves the patient an unnecessary visit to the outpatient department.