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Safety of Clinical & Non-Clinical Decision Makers in Telephone Triage

Safety of Clinical & Non-Clinical Decision Makers in Telephone Triage

Safety of Clinical & Non-Clinical Decision Makers in Telephone Triage

on behalf of Teletriage Systems

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Launch date: 27 Mar 2017
Expiry Date:

Last updated: 06 Sep 2018

Reference: 175935

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The authors of this narrative review used Donabedian’s structure-process-outcome model to examine groups’ systems for evidence of system completeness (a minimum measure of structure and quality) of four groups that are involved in telephone triage – clinicians (physicians and nurses) and non-clinicians (EMDs and clerical staff). They defined common terminology and created a framework to compare these groups. This article is a unique and in-depth examination of current safety in telephone triage. The authors make recommendations with safety implications for process, structure and outcomes in this emerging field.


Upon successful completion of this home study, the participant will be able to:
1. Discuss differences between clinicians and non-clinicians in telephone triage activities
2. Discuss reasons for increased lawsuits related to negligence in telephone triage
3. Define appropriate-, under- and over- referrals.
4. Relate research on safety in telephone triage to their practice

Author Information Play Video Bio

on behalf of Teletriage Systems

In addition to being the Founder of TeleTriage Systems, Ms Wheeler has achieved international recognition as a pioneer and expert in telephone triage. She is an accomplished writer, educator, expert witness, researcher and previously developed decision support guidelines with two different software companies.
Ms. Wheeler provides consultation and training to military and governmental organizations, physician offices, clinics, urgent care and emergency departments, HMO call centers and student health centers. She has served as an expert witness in telephone triage since 1995.
Ms Wheeler’s clinical background spans over 30 years, and includes critical care, emergency department and clinic settings. Ms. Wheeler has recent experience as a front-line telephone triage practitioner in a clinical call center in San Francisco.
Ms. Wheeler is the author of Telephone Triage: Theory, Practice, and Protocol Development as well as Telephone Triage Protocols for Adult and Pediatric Populations. She has written for Nursing 97, Journal of Emergency Nursing, and has lectured internationally. She is the founder and chairperson of “Telephone Triage: Essentials for Expert Practice, the first annual, multi-site, national clinical conference on telephone triage from 1994 to 2003. Please click this link to hear Ms. Wheeler’s recent presentation “To Err is Human, To Delay is Deadly” at the 2015 AAACN conference.

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