Strategies for Reducing Inappropriate After-hours Telephone Calls

Steven E. Caplan, John H. Straus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


It is essential for pediatricians to allow telephone access after office hours, but the volume and the nature of such calls is occasionally resented. This study tests the hypothesis that employment of two interventional strategies could reduce the number of after-hours calls without an increase in emergency room visits. The interventions were: 1) an educational program; and later, 2) a recorded message that revealed the phone number for a second call to reach the pediatrician. The call rate remained the same before and after the educational intervention alone, but after the recorded message was inaugurated, the rate declined 28 percent. After-hours emergency room visits were similar before and after each intervention. This study suggests a simple strategy to modestly reduce after-hours calls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-239
Number of pages4
JournalClinical pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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