Safety and efficiency of non-contact first specialist assessment in neurology

N Z Med J. 2011 Dec 16;124(1347):48-52.


Aim: To investigate safety and efficiency of non-contact first specialist assessments (NCFSA) in neurology.

Methods: Out of a cohort of 1107 patients referred to a neurology clinic, a total of 222 (20%) was triaged into NCFSA and investigated with a 6 months observational study of safety and efficiency indicators.

Results: There were three (1.35%) adverse events (delay in diagnosis) recorded, one of which with actual detriment to the patient. After 6 months the rate of re-referrals was 11.26%, and inpatient admission rate 5.86%.

Conclusions: There is a potential for NCFSAs to optimise the use of available resources in a neurology outpatient setting with low risk of delay in diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Neurology / methods*
  • New Zealand
  • Patient Readmission / trends
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triage / standards*