Background: Patients with vascular disease typically suffer from widespread atherosclerosis and complex multisystem pathologies. As a result, it may be expected that significant portion of a vascular surgeon's inpatient workload is derived from consultations from other inpatient specialist units. This aspect of the workload of vascular surgeons is poorly documented.
Methods: A prospective audit on inpatient vascular consultations was carried out. All vascular admissions to the Vascular Surgery unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital as well as inpatient referrals by other units over a 6-month period were recorded on a database. The data were analysed to evaluate the number of inpatient consultations, the reason for the consultation and its outcome.
Results: Most inpatient referrals were derived from internal medicine (32%), renal, endocrinology and plastic surgery units (26, 13 and 9%, respectively). Sixty-four per cent of all referrals required intervention with most of these patients having been referred from renal and endocrinology units.
Conclusion: In our experience, 50% of the vascular surgeon's inpatient workload is derived from inpatient referrals. Sixty-four per cent of referrals required some form of vascular intervention. This aspect of vascular workload is significant and has not been previously documented. It is time-consuming and also resource consuming and this needs to be taken into consideration when allocating theatre resources and during rostering.