Description: This book is designed to set out protocols for standardized advice to patients who call a clinician's office. The previous edition was published in 2008.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a standardized set of advice for patients who call a clinician's office requesting advice or an appointment. This is a most worthy endeavor, allowing a busy office to determine who needs advice, who needs to be seen soon, and who needs to be referred to an emergency department. The operative phrase is standardized advice.
Audience: The audience is essentially everyone who works in primary care clinician's office to reduce the potential of someone giving incorrect advice.
Features: The book is divided by symptoms, which make for ready access to the information. In each chapter, there is a series of triage assessment questions and definitions so that the person in the office can determine if what the caller is stating fits a common definition of the problem. It also includes home care advice and some background information that office personnel taking the call can use to help the caller understand the diagnosis and, when appropriate, engage in self-care, including how to properly use over-the-counter medicines. Of note is the sturdy quality of the paper the book uses, which will stand up to heavy usage.
Assessment: This is a very useful book and one that can be highly valuable in documenting what is actually said during a telephone call between a patient and a physician's office.