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Aust J Rural Health. 2000 Aug;8(4):227-31.

Interpractitioner communication: telephone consultations between rural general practitioners and specialists.

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North Queensland Clinical School, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.


The results of a study that sought to investigate the utility of and satisfaction with telephone consultations from the perspective of general practitioners and specialists are reported. Semi-structured interviews with rural general practitioners and specialists were used to elicit information about their most recent telephone consultations. The telephone was found to be an important means of communication for rural practitioners, primarily in terms of organising referrals. General practitioners tended to called specialists who they knew and appeared to have fairly well-formed networks of specialists who they called for most of their concerns. Trust is an important element of interpractitioner communication as it increases understanding and confidence in the reliability of the information exchanged. Good working relationships ensure that rural general practitioners have an accessible source of acceptable specialist support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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