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Endocr Pract. 2003 Mar-Apr;9(2):124-7.

Evaluation of a "formal" endocrinology curbside consultation service: advice by means of internet, fax, and telephone.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, USA.



To describe the development, implementation, and assessment of an Internet- and fax-based endocrinology curbside consultation service.


An Internet- and fax-based endocrinology consultation service was designed by developing a simple Web site so that requesting physicians could complete a form about the patient. Community and academic-based primary-care physicians were invited to use the service. One month after each consultation, a follow-up questionnaire about the effectiveness and use of the Internet and fax consultation service was sent to each physician who had requested the consultation.


During the 5-month period in which the service was offered, 67 physicians requested a total of 85 "formal" endocrinology curbside consultations. Of these 85 requests, 46 were by e-mail, 31 by fax, and 8 by telephone. Follow-up questionnaires were returned by 61 of the 67 physicians who used the service. One hundred percent of the physicians found the service to be useful, and about 33% noted formal consultation had been avoided. In approximately 55% of the consultations, physicians indicated that the response caused them to alter the treatment of their patient. Consultation questions encompassed the full spectrum of endocrinology. The issues were approximately equally distributed among test interpretation, medication, and management.


We successfully designed and implemented an Internet- and fax-based endocrinology curbside consultation service. This form of consultation was used by physicians and brought about change in the management of their patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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