Document Detail

Characteristics of telephone calls in a psychiatric outpatient practice.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16732141     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to document the volume and characteristics of telephone calls from patients in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. METHODS: Telephone calls from a psychiatric resident's patients were logged over a 6-month period. Information collected included sex of the caller, reason for the call, deemed importance of the call, primary psychiatric diagnosis, and insurance type. RESULTS: A total of 291 calls occurred during the 6-month period, with an average of 2.4 calls per work day. The physician deemed 1.5% of calls to be an emergency and 15% to be urgent. Of the resident's total case load of 115 patients over the 6 month period, 29% (n = 33) of patients never made physician-patient telephone contact. Female patients were significantly more likely to call than males. Requests for medication refills were the most frequent type of call (38%). The mean number of calls per patient in the caseload was significantly different across diagnostic groups, with patients with personality disorders and anxiety spectrum disorders making more calls than other groups. There was no significant difference in the volume of telephone calls between patients with private health insurance and those without. CONCLUSION: This study may be of particular interest to physicians and managed care systems who are interested in reimbursement for telephone psychiatry. This study confirms and extends the previously reported association between certain psychiatric disorders (personality disorders, anxiety spectrum disorders) and relative frequency of telephone calls to the physician. In addition, the high volume of calls for prescription refills is an important issue in telephone management.
Jonathan Maritz; Suzanne Holroyd
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of psychiatric practice     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1527-4160     ISO Abbreviation:  J Psychiatr Pract     Publication Date:  2006 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-05-29     Completed Date:  2006-10-31     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100901141     Medline TA:  J Psychiatr Pract     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  195-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Virginia Health System, VA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Insurance Coverage
Insurance, Health, Reimbursement*
Managed Care Programs
Mental Disorders / therapy*
Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
Practice Management, Medical* / economics
Remote Consultation / economics,  utilization*
Telephone / economics,  utilization*
Grant Support
R01 NS 045008-01A1/NS/NINDS NIH HHS

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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