• Survey of Primary Care Offices: Triage of Poisoning Calls

      Austin, Travis; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Brooks, Daniel (The University of Arizona., 2013-03)
      Poison control centers hold great potential for saving health care resources particularly by preventing unnecessary medical utilization. We developed a four-question survey with three poisoning-related scenarios, based on common calls to our poison center, and one question regarding after-hours calls. We identified primary care provider offices in our poison center's region from an internet search. We contacted these offices via telephone and asked to speak to an office manager or someone responsible for triaging patient phone queries. Using a scripted form, trained investigators questioned 100 consecutive primary care provider offices on how they would handle these poisoning-related calls if there was no poison center available for patient referral. It was hypothesized that a substantial proportion of these poisoning-related calls would be triaged to 911 or an emergency department. Results of our survey suggest that 82.5% of poisoning-related calls to primary care offices would be referred to 911 or an emergency department if there was no poison center. These results further support the role that poison centers play in patient care and health care utilization.