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Evaluation of telephone based digital triage in urgent care

The project investigates how digitally supported telephone based care can be improved. The research is focussed on out of hours care (care outside of general practice opening). Telephone services that provide out of hours care often use ‘digital triage’. This involves the use of a ‘digital triage tool’ by the call handler or clinician who is assessing the patient’s needs to identify the urgency of the problem and the advice that the patient should be given. Sometimes, this will include referral or signposting to other services. They are intended to help services manage high demand within the health care system in an equitable and safe way.

Our research is investigating how patients experience use of these services and the safety of these services. It aims to understand how telephone triage affects patients’ use of other health care services (such as emergency departments), and what happens to patients following triage, in terms of their health.

The research involves:

  • The analysis of large routine datasets. For more information about how data is being used, please read the routine data project document.
  • An interview study with recent service users. Please read the interview study document for more information.

Funded by:

Warwick Medical School and industry collaborator Advanced www.oneadvanced.com

Research team members:

Ash Sexton (PhD student), Dr Helen Atherton, Professor Jeremy Dale

Dr Gary Abel (University of Exeter)

Dates :

May 2021 to May 2022

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There are opportunities for members of the public to be involved in an advisory panel for the project, please contact Ash Sexton for more information.

ash dot sexton at warwick dot ac dot uk