In Milwaukee, at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin we have had a Outreach Nurse program out of our pediatric emergency department for the past several years. There is a dedicated nurse each day of the week, including weekends, who contacts patients' parents/caregivers the day following their ED visit. Our nurses prioritize calls to those who need follow up on lab (cultures) that may have come back after they left, x-rays where the reading may have been updated, patients whom the providers have requested a call back the following day to check on the patient or to help facilitate a test or home health durable goods need, higher risk patients such as febrile neonates, children with head injury, asthma, dehydration or fever, and then all the rest of the patients who came to the ED the prior day. The purpose was to assure that our patients and families had their questions answered and to assure that followup was done on the x-rays and labwork appropriately. The nurse works in the ED work area and has access to the charge ED physician for questions from families or for how to handle the culture/x-ray results. Our nurses also have a close relationship with primary physicians who have questions or where a patient may need close followup with their primary physician-this helps us to serve as a bridge for families back to their medical home. Our hospital implemented a new electronic record last fall, and we have built the Outreach Nurse function in, so that when the providers are discharging a patient who they want a call back for, they can enter that request--it goes directly to the Outreach Nurse and she can see the reason that the provider wants her to call the family.
We have had excellent success with our calls. Our goal is to reach 100% of families whose child has been discharged. Our range of reaching families is between 90% and 100% currently.
Our experiences have been very positive, with many families having questions about fever control, their medications, how to navigate the health system for appointments and testing, and we have a great way to assure that our tests and x-rays are followed up on.
I'd be happy to speak with you more if you are interested.
Marlene Melzer-Lange, MD
Emergency Department/Trauma Center
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
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From: Pediatric Emergency Medicine Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Scott Freedman
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 9:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Patient Call Backs
Subject: Patient Call Backs
Does any ED have a formal patient call-back program? I am specifically interested to know which facility has a program in place and for what purpose. Is it for patient satisfaction or risk reduction, both or other (research project e.g.) ? Who oversees the program? Is it the Physician group or nursing or other (patient relations dept for example)? Who specifically makes the calls? (ie doctor- attending, fellow, resident, nurse, secretary, patient relations, social work, other?) How are patients identified/ enrolled and if for patient satisfaction- is there an absolute number (or %) of patients per call or month you seek to contact? What has been the experience/ results? (positive, negative, not worth the effort, etc). What would you do differently if you could?
Feel free to pare this down as you see fit. I appreciate the opportunity to post this.
Scott H. Freedman, MD, FACEP, FAAP
Medical Director, Pediatric Quality
Medical Emergency Professionals
For more information, send mail to [log in to unmask] with the message: info PED-EM-L The URL for the PED-EM-L Web Page is:
For more information, send mail to [log in to unmask] with the message: info PED-EM-L
The URL for the PED-EM-L Web Page is: