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From The CriticsReviewer:Sally Ling, M.D.;FACP(University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine)
Description:This is a spiral bound, tabulated manual of 80 clinical protocols that would be used for triage of calls to a medical office. A helpful user's guide is included so that individual practices may be able to amend or adapt the protocols as needed to suit their circumstances.
Purpose:The telephone triage protocols are for use by triage personnel in adult primary care offices so that care is consistent, efficient, and meets the standard of care to reduce risk.
Audience:Although the users of this manual would be healthcare professionals managing triage, the protocols with their structured decision-support tools will help physicians within a group practice develop consensus as they review and approve the protocols for use. The manual's reviewers include physicians and healthcare practitioners experienced in managing call centers.
Features:Protocols are listed alphabetically by symptom. Each protocol includes a definition, background information, triage assessment questions that lead to decisions to call EMS 911, to go to the emergency department now, versus an office appointment or home care. Knowledge of local resources would be extremely important. For example, most TIAs are best triaged to an emergency department rather than the office for expeditious work-up. Furthermore, in general, when patients are triaged to the office, a time frame may need to be specified depending on the condition.
Assessment:This manual is user friendly and visually pleasing. It contains protocols for the most common presenting symptoms called into a primary care physician's office. Sample triage logs are provided in the appendix. One of the manual's benefits will be the enhanced care arising out of the consistency of care.