Term: Ambulatory Consultation Rate

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2020-05-19


The average number of ambulatory consultations per resident (all ages) in a given year. Consultations are a subset of ambulatory visits: they occur when one provider refers a patient to another provider (usually a specialist or surgeon) because of the complexity, obscurity, or seriousness of the patient’s condition or when the patient requests a second opinion. Referrals can originate from physicians, nurses, or other allied health professionals, and can be to physicians or nurse practitioners.

The consult rate is the best indicator of access to specialty care.

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