Provider News

GI Has 3,000 Referrals in Scheduling Queue; Please See Patients With Constipation in Primary Care Whenever Appropriate

April 5, 2023

Gastroenterology (GI) has approximately 3,000 referrals waiting to be scheduled, with limited appointment slots available to see new patients. This means nonurgent general GI referrals without red flags, including constipation (which is one of the more common referrals received by GI), are currently scheduling three to five months out.

While GI is continuing to accept patient referrals for constipation at this time, program leaders are encouraging PCPs to manage their patients with constipation in primary care whenever possible and appropriate to ensure the most timely care. This also helps Seattle Children’s maintain access for patients who most need specialty care.

To assist PCPs in caring for patients with constipation, Seattle Children’s offers a detailed functional constipation clinical protocol and algorithm on our website. In addition, the GI Refer a Patient webpage offers:

Patients with constipation who have red flags (see protocol and/or algorithm) or who have attempted the treatment protocol without success are appropriate to be seen by GI and should be referred. Please clearly describe the treatment that has been tried already to help us properly triage and schedule your patient.

The Seattle Children’s GI team acknowledges the excellent work of PCPs in the community who are managing constipation in primary care and encourage you to let us know if there are ways we can improve the resources we are providing (above) in support of your care.