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Emergency Department Attendance after Telephone Triage: A Population-Based Data Linkage Study

Gibson, A, Randall, D, Tran, DT, Byrne, M, Lawler, A, Havard, A, Robinson, M and Jorm, LR 2018 , 'Emergency Department Attendance after Telephone Triage: A Population-Based Data Linkage Study' , Health Services Research, vol. 53, no. 2 , pp. 1137-1162 , doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12692.

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Objective: To investigate compliance with telephone helpline advice to attend anemergency department (ED) and the acuity of patients who presented to ED followinga call.Data Sources/Collection Methods: In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, 2009–2012, all (1.04 million) calls to a telephone triage service, ED presentations, hospitaladmissions and death registrations, linked using probabilistic data linkage.Study Design. Population-based, observational cohort study measuring ED presentations within 24 hours of a call in patients (1) with dispositions to attend ED (compliance) and (2) low-urgency dispositions (self-referral), triage categories on EDpresentation.Principal Findings: A total of 66.5 percent of patients were compliant with dispositions to attend an ED. A total of 6.2 percent of patients with low-urgency dispositionsself-referred to the ED within 24 hours. After age adjustment, healthdirect compliantpatients were significantly less likely (7.8 percent) to receive the least urgent ED triagecategory compared to the general NSW ED population (16.9 percent).Conclusions: This large population-based data linkage study provides precise estimates of ED attendance following calls to a telephone triage service and details the predictors of ED attendance. Patients who attend an ED compliant with a healthdirecthelpline disposition are significantly less likely than the general ED population toreceive the lowest urgency triage category on arrival.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Gibson, A and Randall, D and Tran, DT and Byrne, M and Lawler, A and Havard, A and Robinson, M and Jorm, LR
Journal or Publication Title: Health Services Research
Publisher: Blackwell
ISSN: 0017-9124
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/1475-6773.12692
Copyright Information:

© Health Research and Educational Trust

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