Document Detail

Referral patterns, lesion prevalence, and patient care parameters in a clinical oral pathology practice.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10348517     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the following parameters in a referral-based private practice oral and maxillofacial pathology clinic: (1) sources of clinical referrals; (2) types of problems referred; and (3) clinical effectiveness of treatment. STUDY DESIGN: Clinical charts were reviewed for a cohort of 362 patients seen over a 2 1/2-year period (1993-1995). From these charts, we determined the source of referral and the final diagnosis for each patient. In addition, 50 patients were randomly selected and surveyed by telephone; each was asked a series of questions to determine the following: (1) the number of health care practitioners previously seen with regard to the patient's condition; (2) the length of time that the condition had been present before the patient came to the oral and maxillofacial pathology clinic; (3) the costs associated with medications and office visits that had been incurred before the patient came to the oral and maxillofacial pathology clinic; (4) the costs associated with medications and office visits that were incurred at the oral and maxillofacial pathology clinic; and (5) the patient's level of satisfaction with the oral and maxillofacial pathology clinic. RESULTS: Fifty-five percent of the referrals came from dentists, and 45% came from physicians. The 3 problems most commonly seen were candidiasis (12%), burning mouth syndrome (10%), and lichen planus (8%). For the 50 patients who were interviewed, the mean number of health care practitioners seen previously was 2.2 (range, 1-9). The mean time from initial symptoms to evaluation by an oral pathologist was 15 months. The mean approximate cost of medications and office visits before evaluation by an oral pathologist was $350 (range, $30-$4,000; median, $100); this compared with a cost of $94 (range, $50-$300; median, $70) for the patient visit and medications associated with the oral pathology appointment. The difference was statistically significant (P < or = .001). CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study suggests that the clinical evaluation of oral lesions by an oral pathologist appears to be cost-effective and should be an integral part of a comprehensive health management system. These results should be corroborated by similar multicenter studies.
C M Haberland; C M Allen; F M Beck
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics     Volume:  87     ISSN:  1079-2104     ISO Abbreviation:  Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod     Publication Date:  1999 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-07-12     Completed Date:  1999-07-12     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9508562     Medline TA:  Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  583-8     Citation Subset:  D; IM    
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Child, Preschool
Dentist's Practice Patterns / statistics & numerical data
Episode of Care
Health Care Costs
Middle Aged
Pathology, Oral / economics,  statistics & numerical data*
Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
Physician's Practice Patterns / statistics & numerical data
Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*,  utilization
Retrospective Studies
Sampling Studies
Specialization / statistics & numerical data*
Stomatognathic Diseases / economics*,  epidemiology
United States / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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