Telephone Triage in Pediatric Head Injury: Follow-up Patterns and Subsequent Diagnosis of Concussion


In a recent study led by PISC Executive Committee Member, Catherine McDonald, PhD, along with researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, compliance with telephone patient triage recommendations and the prevalence of resultant concussion diagnosis were examined in a pediatric population.

Using electronic medical record data on telephone triage system calls from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, McDonald et al. screened calls with the Barton Schmitt Pediatric Head Injury Telephone Triage Protocol. They then determined the proportion of patients who followed up with urgent recommendations to see a provider and prevalence of diagnoses of concussion.

McDonald et al. found that 84.1% of their applicable calls followed triage recommendations and 39.5% of that group were estimated to have a concussion diagnosis. This research has applications for the improvement of parental education and compliance with follow-up recommendations, as well as improve the utility of the telephone triage system.

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