Agreement on urgency assessment between secretaries and general practitioners : an observational study in out-of-hours general practice service in BelgiumAgreement on urgency assessment between secretaries and general practitioners : an observational study in out-of-hours general practice service in Belgium
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Primary and interdisciplinary care Antwerp (ELIZA)
Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO)
Acta clinica Belgica. - Gent, 1997, currens
70(2015):5, p. 309-314
University of Antwerp
Background: In some European countries telephone triage (TT) during out-of-hours primary care showed to be safe and effective. Other countries, such as Belgium, may not have trained auxiliary personnel while their national health services want to establish TT. Objectives: To compare urgency levels assessed by secretaries and general practitioners in one general practice cooperative in Belgium. Methods: Percentage of correct-, under-, and over-triage were calculated in total and per reason for encounter. Inter-rater agreement was investigated. Results: The secretaries correctly triaged (same urgency level) 77% of the telephone calls, under-triaged 10% and over-triaged 13%.'Shortness of breath', 'skin cuts', 'chest pain', 'feeling unwell' and 'syncope' were often under-triaged. Conclusion: Before introducing TT, auxiliary staff should be trained and protocols should be used.