The Rapid Diagnostic Unit (UDR) of the Internal Medicine of Bellvitge University Hospital was created in 2005 as an assistential resource guided to the diagnostic study of patients with potentially serious illnesses. Benefiting all patients who may be subjected to a clinical study. This will prevent their hospitalization, and this improves their quality of life and avoids the separation from their social-family environment.

The rapid Diagnostic Unit (UDR) strengthens its coordination with the different services of the Hospital and primary care

The UDR assistential team is composed by a nurse, a doctor specialized in internal medicine and an administrative assistant. The responsible is Dr. Carme Sanclemente. In every medical and surgical service, a physician of reference will collaborate with additional examinations requested by the UDR.

From this unit, we are still working on improving the referral circuits. In recent months, the new computer system at the Hospital has improved the speed in which patients arrive in the UDR. An email address (  allows to request the referral and consultation to avoid unnecessary trips. Between January and September 2010, 65 referrals were done and  25 medical consultations were resolved through this circuit. In addition, a telephone-type search also allows direct communication with the physicians and medical personnel from both the Hospital and Primary Care.

Together with the cytodiagnosis Section of the Anatomic Pathology Service, the UDR has created a circuit for lymphadenopathy diagnostic punctures. The puncture is made in the UDR and is sent to the Anatomic Pathology Service, and in about 30 minutes we get an approach to the etiologic diagnosis. This new circuit, with the proper functioning of the functional units, allows a quick diagnosis and early treatment.

Moreover, the UDR continues to  push several coordination initiatives for primary care. After starting by the professionals in the area of direct influence (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat El Prat de Llobregat), has continued to other areas of primary care and hospitals with similar requests.

Between January and September 2010, UDR has made 414 visits with an average age of 62 years. 59% of referrals came from the hospital´s emergency room , 32% from Primary Care, 5% from the Outpatient clinic and 4% from other sources. The most frequent reasons for consultation were the toxic syndrome, adenopathies, and location of tumorations. The final most common diagnosis was the neoplasia. Identifying diagnostic was performed in less than 10 days. 40% of patients required one visit, 59.7% two visits and 0.27% three visits. A satisfaction survey conducted in 2010 among patients offered very favorable results.

We have achieved a reduction of waiting time for first visits (there is currently no waiting list and the patients are visited within one to two days), a decrease of anxiety in patient looking to access medical personnel of the unit, a reduction of diagnostic range and hospital admissions, and an increase of comfort.

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