Patient Callbacks

From the EM-Blog:

Try your hand at this multiple choice question:
An ideal survey of a patient’s emergency department visit:
(a) Is unobtrusively completed within days of the visit
(b) Promptly identifies patients getting worse or with questions
(c) Reduces lawsuits, claims, premiums and payouts
(d) Accurately determines caregiver trends and facility issues
(e) Improves patient satisfaction

Of course, the best response is “all of the above.”

In 1999, my interest in emergency medicine callbacks and nerdy database programming skills facilitated the creation of a callback system for two high-volume emergency departments. Several-hundred-thousand phone calls later, the program was acknowledged by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as an EM best practice. While this report detailed how other hospitals could institute their own programs, a recent poll showed that 29% do not call patients back at all. The majority that do follow-up in this way thrust this duty upon physicians and nurses during clinical shifts, leading to resentment and haphazard data collection. Only 15% of those surveyed utilize a dedicated staff

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