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Eval Health Prof. 2005 Dec;28(4):414-27.

Help on the line: telephone-triage use, outcomes, and satisfaction within an uninsured population.

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  • 1University of Kansas, School of Medicine-Wichita, Kansas, USA.


Telephone triage programs have been shown to be cost-effective and favorably utilized by insured populations. However, there are 45 million Americans who are uninsured and who do not have access to telephone nursing. A telephone triage service was piloted for local uninsured residents. Within the 17-month trial period, 320 calls were received, representing 207 clients. This study reports on the results of the telephone survey with a cross-sectional sample of uninsured triage patrons (N = 80). One half reported they would have sought other medical care if the telephone triage service had not been available. Most callers (98%) believed that their health care concern was understood. Moreover, 98% agreed with the advice given, and 90% reported following up on the advice given. Overall satisfaction by the uninsured population with the telephone-based nurse triage service was positive and appears to be an effective and acceptable tool by those uninsured individuals who utilized its services.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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