Clinical Professor VA Mather / UCDavis El Dorado Hills, California, United States
Objectives: PM&R acute hospital consultation services are available at many medical centers in the US. Anecdotally, the main intent has been to identify patients appropriate for admission to an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF). As there is minimal research on this aspect of PM&R, the purpose of this study was to collect data regarding the intent, scope and workforce characteristics of the acute hospital consultation services at US academic training programs.
Design: A survey was sent to the department chairperson of all 92 US ACGME accredited PM&R residency programs. The survey queried the characteristics of the PM&R hospital consultation service including: demographics (eg, hospital/IRF characteristics), primary role(s) of the service, and personnel (eg, physician/other). Responses were completed securely via REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) software. Descriptive analysis was recommended after statistician review.
Results: Respondent programs were urban (95%) with almost half (46%) having a consultation service limited to a single large (mean 735 beds) acute hospital. The 3 most important reported purposes were 1) identify appropriate patients for the affiliated IRF, 2) provide expertise in management of PM&R related conditions (eg, SCI, TBI), and 3) identify patients for a non-affiliated IRF. On average, volume was 8 patients per day with 2.6 full time PM&R physicians. Resident physicians completed, on average, 4 consult months during training. Limitations include low response rate (41%).
Conclusions: This is the first reported survey examining the characteristics of acute hospital PM&R consultation services at US academic training institutions. Respondents were from urban programs performing consults at a single large capacity hospital; the primary intent was identification of patients appropriate for inpatient rehabilitation. Subsequent surveys should explore alternative methods to optimize the response rate. Our findings may serve as a basis for comparison with subsequent evaluations of academic and non-academic PM&R hospital consultation services.