After Hours

After Hours Telephone Triage Guidelines

The After Hours guidelines are written for use by physicians and nurses in support of 24 x 7 or after hours telephone triage calls. “After hours” refers to the time period when a clinic or physician’s office is closed. The guidelines have been developed and updated over the past 25 years with ongoing QA and testing by medical call centers and physician offices and clinics.  The 2017 After Hours guideline set contains 343 adult topics and 323 pediatric topics.

Each protocol is structured to include:

  • A Symptom Definition
  • Initial Assessment Questions
  • Triage Assessment Questions
  • Targeted Care Advice*
  • Background Information
  • First Aid (if appropriate)
  • References
  • Search Words

*Targeted advice is advice relevant to the patient’s symptoms, acuity and corresponding disposition.  By mapping care advice at the triage question level, rather than the disposition level, the nurses are more efficient as they don’t have to search for appropriate advice statements. We’ve already provided that short list of appropriate advice statements.

Typical clients include medical call centers that serve hospitals, health plans, physicians, or government programs, software development organizations, worker’s comp organizations and EMR/EHR organizations.