Definition of urgency levels at the referral of a thyroid patient to a specialist

  • Simona Gaberšček Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Katica Bajuk Studen Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Nataša Bedernjak Bajuk Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Martin Glogovšek Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
  • Nives Jugovac Division of Medical Services, Nuclear Medicine Unit, Izola General Hospital, Izola, Slovenia
  • Danijela Krković Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
  • Mojca Mir Department of endocrinology and nuclear medicine, General Hospital dr. Franc Derganc, Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia
  • Edvard Pirnat Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Rajko Svilar Department of endocrinology and nuclear medicine, General Hospital dr. Franc Derganc, Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia
  • Katja Zaletel Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Keywords: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, painful thyroid gland, thyroid nodule, pregnancy

Abstract

The aim of our article is to clarify dilemmas occurring at the referral of patients with the suspicion of thyroid disorder to a thyroid specialist. Due to the limitations of health care system, not every patient may get help from the specialist immediately. Levels of urgency that are listed in the »Rules on the referral of patients, the management of waiting lists, and the maximum permissible waiting times« should enable patients to get help when it is needed. Within the eReferral system with the eReferral document, patients are classified according to the level of urgency. In our opinion, this demanding professional task should be performed by a relevant specialist and not by other medical staff or administrative workers. Only a sufficient amount of information stated in the eReferral document makes proper classification of patients possible. Otherwise, the eReferral document should be supplemented accordingly. In a patient with the suspicion of thyroid dysfunction, the level of urgency is not determined on the basis of laboratory results alone, although they are very important and should be referenced in the referral document. Other valuable items of information are patient’s age, accompanying diseases, any already prescribed medication, possible pregnancy or assisted reproductive technology procedures. In a patient with the suspicion of goiter or thyroid nodule, valuable information is the clinical estimation of thyroid size, the presence of suspicious neck lymph nodes, and the results of performed imaging examinations. Thyroid diseases are very frequent, and therefore not every patient can get help from the specialist immediately. However, correctly filled as well as accurately classified eReferral documents may provide an adequate treatment appointment for the majority of patients.

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Author Biography

Simona Gaberšček, Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Published
2020-01-09
How to Cite
1.
Gaberšček S, Bajuk Studen K, Bedernjak Bajuk N, Glogovšek M, Jugovac N, Krković D, Mir M, Pirnat E, Svilar R, Zaletel K. Definition of urgency levels at the referral of a thyroid patient to a specialist. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 9Jan.2020 [cited 27Feb.2020];88(11-12):607-15. Available from: https://vestnik.szd.si/index.php/ZdravVest/article/view/2901
Section
Professional Article