Rethinking the consultation paradigm: Validity evidence for a new framework, a multimethods study

Link to article at PubMed

J Hosp Med. 2024 Apr;19(4):259-266. doi: 10.1002/jhm.13312. Epub 2024 Mar 12.


BACKGROUND: In-hospital consultation is essential for patient care. We previously proposed a framework of seven specific consultation types to classify consult requests to improve communication, workflow, and provider satisfaction.

METHODS: This multimethods study's aim was to evaluate the applicability of the consult classification framework to real internal medicine (IM) consults. We sought validity evidence using Kane's validity model with focus groups and classifying consult requests from five IM specialties. Participants attended five 1 h semi-structured focus groups that were recorded, transcribed, and coded for thematic saturation. For each specialty, three specialists and three hospitalists categorized 100 (total 500) random anonymized consult requests. The primary outcome was concordance in the classification of consult requests, defined as the sum of partial concordance and perfect concordance, where respectively 4-5/6 and 6/6 participants classified a consult in the same category. We used χ2 tests to compare concordance rates across specialties and between specialists and hospitalists.

RESULTS: Five major themes were identified in the qualitative analysis of the focus groups: (1) consult question, (2) interpersonal interactions, (3) value, (4) miscommunication, (5) consult framework application, barriers, and iterative development. In the quantitative analysis, the overall concordance rate was 88.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 85.7-91.4), and perfect concordance was 46.6% (95% CI: 42.2-51.1). Concordance differed significantly between hospitalists and specialists overall (p = .01), with a higher proportion of hospitalists having perfect concordance compared to specialists (67.2% vs. 57.8%, p = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: The consult classification framework was found to be applicable to consults from five different IM specialties, and could improve communication and education.

PMID:38472645 | DOI:10.1002/jhm.13312

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