BACKGROUND: Pediatric out-of-hours calls are common, as parents worry and seek reassurance and shared responsibility. Nevertheless, most children assessed in this context are not seriously ill. Conventional telephone triage lacks visual cues and is further limited by third part communication in calls concerning children. We investigated implementation of video triage in two previous studies. The aim of the present study was to investigate 1) How video triage versus telephone triage in children was experienced by parents and call-handlers, and 2) call-handlers' evaluation of the video triage projects.
METHODS: We triangulated data from surveys and interviews in five sub-studies. Sub-study 1: Parents' experience of video triage reported in closed-ended questionnaire items using quantitative analysis; Sub-study 2: Parents' experience of video triage reported as questionnaire free-text using qualitative content analysis; Sub-study 3: Call-handlers' experience of video triage reported in closed-ended questionnaire items using quantitative analysis; and Sub-studies 4 and 5: Individual interviews of call-handlers' experience of 1) video triage using thematic analysis and 2) the video triage project using process evaluation.
RESULTS: Most parents' comments regarding video triage were positive (n = 164, 83%). Video triage was perceived as reassuring and reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and unnecessary hospital visits. Call-handlers experienced that video triage improved patient assessment and caller reassurance. Some call-handlers complained that the time allocated for study participation was inadequate and requested a more accessible video set-up. Both parents and call-handlers were significantly more satisfied and reassured after video triage than after telephone triage and suggested video triage as a permanent option.
CONCLUSION: Video triage was appreciated by parents and call-handlers and was recommended as a permanent option. The call-handlers suggested that designated time for participation in the studies would have been desirable in this busy call-center. We recommend video triage as a contemporary solution in out-of-hours service.
- Surveys and Questionnaires