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AFTER HOURS OPTIONS: CONSIDERATIONS Choosing an After-hours Call Center
After-hours call centers provide professional representation for the pediatric practice. Therefore, inquiry should be made about the professional level of the individuals answering calls, how they are trained and supervised, if they are certified, and which triage manuals and software are being used. You should also learn the name and degree of participation by the supervising physician. Inquiring about the volume of calls handled by the center, the number of physicians it serves, and its formal affiliations with insurers and hospitals may also be useful.
Both the service itself and its professional employees should be licensed in your state and should carry their own liability insurance.
The malpractice insurer for the pediatric practice and its participating healthcare plans should agree in writing that use of this outside provider for after-hours calls does not violate contractual agreements.
It is strongly recommended that a practice physician should review triage protocols at regular intervals to be certain that they conform to practice recommendations and advice. Discrepancies should be noted and discussed with an appropriate call center representative.
Choosing a Telephone Answering
Unless you are otherwise notified, our physician will call in once every 90 minutes for non-urgent calls. However, the physician should be called or paged immediately if:
AAP News Article "Weigh Costs and Benefits When Selecting After-hours Triage Service"