Medication-related queries received for 'after hours GP helpline' – comparison of callers' intentions with GPs' advice

Tariq, Amina, Li, Ling, Byrne, Mary, Robinson, Maureen, Westbrook, Johanna, & Baysari, Melissa T (2016) Medication-related queries received for 'after hours GP helpline' – comparison of callers' intentions with GPs' advice. Australian Family Physician, 45(9), pp. 661-667.

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Abstract

Background

Limited studies have explored the actual usage of the ‘after hours GP helpline’ (AGPH).

Objective/s

The objectives of the article are to describe medication-related calls to the AGPH and compare callers’ original intentions versus the advice provided by the general practitioner (GP).

Methods

We performed a detailed descriptive statistical analysis of medication-related queries received by the AGPH in 2014.

Results

In 2014, 13,600 medication-related calls were made to the national AGPH. For 86.56% of calls, GPs advised callers to either self-care only, or self-care overnight and see their GP during business hours. Of the 1442 calls where the caller had originally intended to visit the emergency department (ED), 76.70% were advised by GPs to self-care, and only 5.48% were advised to call 000 or visit an ED. Overall, less than 2.26% of callers were directed to the ED, despite 10.60% of people originally calling with this intention.

Discussion

The availability of an after-hours service potentially prevented 1363 people from unnecessarily attending an ED and directed 228 people who had originally underestimated the seriousness of their condition to an ED.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 98810
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: telemedicine, GP afterhours, Emergency departments
ISSN: 0300-8495
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Decision Support and Group Support Systems (080605)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Deposited On: 14 Sep 2016 00:35
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 22:22

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