Comparison of patient-related telephone calls to a private general internal medicine practice with calls to a university faculty practice

the town and the gown

R. E. Morrison, Craig Dorko, Jim Wan, L. N. Vieron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The advent of capitated managed care has strengthened the importance of patient access to medical care via the telephone. In a continued effort to better understand the components of care for internal medicine patients, we utilized SAS descriptive statistical applications to analyze and compare the aspects of 370 consecutive patient-related calls made to a University faculty internal medicine private practice with 370 consecutive patient-related calls made to a successful single-physician general internal medicine private practice. Both sets of calls were placed during regular office hours. We analyzed these calls by demographics, reason for call, type of patient problem, requirement for physician involvement, how the call was handled, and medications prescribed. Hypertension was the most common diagnosis/problem in both sets with dermatologic conditions, upper respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections being the most common new problems. Antibiotics and anti-hypertensives were the most commonly prescribed drugs in both sets. Tranquilizers were more commonly prescribed in the general internal medicine private practice. The strengths and weaknesses of the respective telephone medicine practices are applicable to the development of medical school and housestaff curriculum related to caring for patients utilizing the telephone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Volume44
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

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Internal Medicine
Telephone
Private Practice
Health care
Curricula
Antihypertensive Agents
Medicine
Physicians
Managed Care Programs
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Medical Schools
Urinary Tract Infections
Respiratory Tract Infections
Respiratory System
Curriculum
Demography
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Hypertension

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

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title = "Comparison of patient-related telephone calls to a private general internal medicine practice with calls to a university faculty practice: the town and the gown",
abstract = "The advent of capitated managed care has strengthened the importance of patient access to medical care via the telephone. In a continued effort to better understand the components of care for internal medicine patients, we utilized SAS descriptive statistical applications to analyze and compare the aspects of 370 consecutive patient-related calls made to a University faculty internal medicine private practice with 370 consecutive patient-related calls made to a successful single-physician general internal medicine private practice. Both sets of calls were placed during regular office hours. We analyzed these calls by demographics, reason for call, type of patient problem, requirement for physician involvement, how the call was handled, and medications prescribed. Hypertension was the most common diagnosis/problem in both sets with dermatologic conditions, upper respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections being the most common new problems. Antibiotics and anti-hypertensives were the most commonly prescribed drugs in both sets. Tranquilizers were more commonly prescribed in the general internal medicine private practice. The strengths and weaknesses of the respective telephone medicine practices are applicable to the development of medical school and housestaff curriculum related to caring for patients utilizing the telephone.",
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