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Can Use of a Pediatric Call Center as an Extension of Pediatric Emergency Department Visits Improve Quality of Pediatric Care?

Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) overcrowding is a nationwide problem that negatively impacts the quality of pediatric care delivered. A subset of the patients who frequently visit and disproportionately utilize the resources of the PED thus contributing to the burden of overcrowding, have been identified. While most of these patients were knowledgeable about alternative sources for healthcare advice, most these patients went directly to the PED. This project proposes the use of an established pediatric call center, which triages over 250,000 calls per year, to extend the PED services by offering subsequent follow-up advice and triage. The goal of this project is not only to decrease overall PED utilization by this population, but to improve the quality of care provided at the PED by decreasing utilization of frequent users.

Investigators: Joseph Simon (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emergency Services) and Brani Vidakovic (GT, Biomedical Engineering)

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