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Title: An evaluation of the tele-consultation and triage system at a primary health centre in Malta
Authors: Grima, Martha
Abela, Jurgen
Keywords: Primary health care -- Malta
Triage (Medicine) -- Malta
Telephone in medicine -- Malta
Telecommunication in medicine
Issue Date: 2019-10
Publisher: University of Malta. Medical School
Citation: Grima, M., & Abela, J. (2019). An evaluation of the tele-consultation and triage system at a primary health centre in Malta. Malta Medical School Gazette, 3(2), 6-14.
Abstract: Introduction: The telephone triage and advice service (TTAS) operates within Malta’s Primary Health system. The aim of this study is to evaluate the TTAS at Mosta health centre (MHC). Three parameters were studied, namely service usage, patient satisfaction and patient outcome. Methods: All adult patients who phoned MHC from their home asking for a doctor between February and April 2018 were included. Data was collected from the TTAS sheets available at MHC. A sample of patients was involved in a questionnaire via telephone to assess their experience with the service. Results: 2,013 patients were included. The mean age was 54.85 years (95%CI: 54.04-55.67). There was no significant gender mean age difference (p=0.813). Females (67.46%) significantly called more often than males, (p<0.001). The majority of calls were from Mosta (24.64%). Most of the patients called asking for advice and their outcome predominantly involved advice over the phone (p=<0.001). Using the ICPC-2, most complaints were of category A (General/unspecified), the commonest being fever. Advice over the phone (53.5%) was the major outcome. The 80+ age group had a higher house visit percentage outcome (48.58%) compared to the overall population (34.72%). Patients involved in the questionnaire showed an overall satisfaction with this service. Conclusions: This is the first study evaluating the service locally. Results are promising, showing that TTAS is being used as a means of healthcare provision. A structured approach for doctors taking calls is recommended for more consistent outcomes.
Appears in Collections:MMSG, Volume 3, Issue 2
MMSG, Volume 3, Issue 2
Scholarly Works - FacM&SFM

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