How serious are the symptoms of callers to a telephone triage call centre?
Summary of "How serious are the symptoms of callers to a telephone triage call centre?"
Adverse events such as deaths following telephone triage calls are rare, suggesting that the process is basically safe. However, if calls tend to concern mostly minor illnesses, then adverse events following calls would be uncommon even if the triage process itself was flawed. We investigated hospitalization rates following triage calls and compared them to hospitalization following two other types of medical access, emergency department (ED) visits and office visits. For the Ask Mayo Clinic telephone triage centre, hospitalization rates for adult calls concerning chest pain and abdominal pain were each 13%. Based on national survey data, hospitalization for adult ED visits concerning the same symptoms were 33% (chest pain) and 19% (abdominal pain). Office visits had hospitalization rates significantly lower than triage calls in all age groups, while ED visits had higher hospitalization rates than triage calls in all age groups. There are both qualitative and quantitative similarities between triage calls and ED visits and, using hospitalization as an indicator, some subgroups of triage calls are nearly as serious as ED visits.
* Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of telemedicine and telecare
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20713512
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/jtt.2010.091016
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Analog or digital communications device in which the user has a wireless connection from a telephone to a nearby transmitter. It is termed cellular because the service area is divided into multiple "cells." As the user moves from one cell area to another, the call is transferred to the local transmitter.
The sorting out and classification of patients or casualties to determine priority of need and proper place of treatment.
Medical care provided after the regular practice schedule of the physicians. Usually it is designed to deliver 24-hour-a-day and 365-day-a-year patient care coverage for emergencies, triage, pediatric care, or hospice care.
An instrument for reproducing sounds especially articulate speech at a distance. (Webster, 3rd ed)
Stress Disorders, Post-traumatic
A class of traumatic stress disorders with symptoms that last more than one month. There are various forms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depending on the time of onset and the duration of these stress symptoms. In the acute form, the duration of the symptoms is between 1 to 3 months. In the chronic form, symptoms last more than 3 months. With delayed onset, symptoms develop more than 6 months after the traumatic event.
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