Employees' views on home-based, after-hours telephone triage by Dutch GP cooperatives

R. Backhaus, J. van Exel, A.A. de Bont*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background
Dutch out-of-hours (OOH) centers find it difficult to attract sufficient triage staff. They regard home-based triage as an option that might attract employees. Specially trained nurses are supposed to conduct triage by telephone from home for after-hours medical care. The central aim of this research is to investigate the views of employees of OOH centers in The Netherlands on home-based telephone triage in after-hours care.

Methods
The study is a Q methodology study. Triage nurses, general practitioners (GPs) and managers of OOH centers ranked 36 opinion statements on home-based triage. We interviewed 10 participants to help develop and validate the statements for the Q sort, and 77 participants did the Q sort.

Results
We identified four views on home-based telephone triage. Two generally favor home-based triage, one highlights some concerns and conditions, and one opposes it out of concern for quality. The four views perceive different sources of credibility for nurse triagists working from home.

Conclusion
Home-based telephone triage is a controversial issue among triage nurses, GPs and managers of OOH centers. By identifying consensus and dissension among GPs, triagists, managers and regulators, this study generates four perspectives on home-based triage. In addition, it reveals the conditions considered important for home-based triage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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