Pediatric Orthopaedic Practitioners Society POPS

Question from member Colleen Ditro

Posted almost 3 years ago by Suzanne Hilt

If I could get some feedback on how your run your practice in regards to following, I would greatly appreciate it!
1. When do you typically return phone calls? in between patients? at the end of day? any set time or just when you get to it?
2. Does your administrative staff have a script that they give families about return of phone calls?
2. Do you give an expectation to families as to when paperwork is returned such as FMLA? 72 hr?


Kerry Clark almost 3 years ago

Hi, Colleen,
I try to return calls throughout the day if I can. Obviously, sometimes have to wait until the end of the day. No real script; depends on the situation. We tell patients and families that we will try to complete paperwork within a few days and then offer to mail or have them pick-up.
Kerry Clark

Jill Ariagno almost 3 years ago

I our system, each MD/APRN team has a nurse assigned to them. So how our system works is that all phone calls go into Ortho clinic and a clinic nurse (s) are assigned to take those calls off the line and distribute to the respective RN of the MD/APRN team. Second pass is addressed by the RN of the team. Any calls that cant be addressed by said RN are then forwarded via email, pager, text, message center(computer) for APRN to address. At this point I get to them when I can. My RN makes sure to tell the families that I am in clinic or OR etc and the timing of when I might get back to them.

Some of my colleagues offer to on their voice mail that they will get back within 24 hours but I don't not as it is unlikely that that will happen. However, it is a "clinic" RN responsibility that they call back within 24 hours.

My administrative staff does not have a "script" for families as all of our patient calls go through clinic not the office. If a patient is calling the office as opposed to the clinic they are transferred to the clinic nurse line. Hope that helps!!

Jill Ariagno almost 3 years ago

Oh forgot about FMLA, I give no timelines on when they will be available. Most of the time the families tell me the have to have them. They are always given a very hard timeline on when their FMLA papers must be returned to their HR dept. and people get very anxious about that. Lastly, if a person shows up in clinic with these papers, I will do my best to do them right there if time allows only because I know that if I leave it to do later it wont get done. Cheers

Alison Duey-holtz almost 3 years ago

We have a department nurse triage line with the goal of return phone calls in 1 hour. However that is the RN's sole responsibility for the day. Each surgical team has 1 RN & we also have 1 RN to help with APPs seeing patients independently that day (usually covering 2-3 APPs on that day). Team RNs/APP RN return phone calls & manage EHR in box. Any questions/needs will then go to that APP. APPs also have a phone with goal of returning phone calls within 48 hours. FMLAs are still filled out by APPs with a 7 day turn around. I have also become very strict about having families fill out the front part of the FMLA form so I know how much time needed off, full time/part time etc. I refuse to fill out until families have filled that out as I think employers are becoming more strict ensuring the part the family fills out & the part I fill out "match". That has helped a lot. Hope this helps!

Angela Vanderpool almost 3 years ago

As Jill mentioned earlier, we have a lot of different providers and each has tailored how they manage these issues in a way that fits their practice. In the Sports group, I have direct calls as well as some through the triage line, mainly pre and post-ops. I have a message on the phone that lets them know I will return call today, if after 3:30 will be next business day. I usually return them in the am at lunch and pm prior to leaving for the day. If emergency I provide the call person #. There is no set time, we just try to work in the calls as able and not hold up patients in the clinic to be seen. FMLA papers I usually fill out when I receive them then fax, usually within 24 hours but let the family now it may be 2-3 days.

Erica Zepeda almost 3 years ago

Happy Halloween Colleen!
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital has a messaging center composed of RNs/LVNs that answers phone calls and then they triage the message to the respective team based on priority. We had a paper system but now have launched EPIC medical record system so the respective team nurses are able to see there messages more promptly. The RN/LVN on the respective team then addresses the question within 24 hours. If they need further assistance with answering the question at hand they contact the attending MD or the APP. Each team is made up of 2 APPs/RN coordinator/LVN/MD. They do not use a script. Generally, the RN coordinator for the team will complete FMLA in a timely manner. Unfortunately, I don;t have any specifics but I believe she completes the paper work less than 72 hours.

Christi Abeln over 2 years ago

Hi Colleen. My medical assistant answers calls and voicemail and the calls I must return I do on my lunch hour or at end of my day. No Rx for phone calls hand out business card and we have voicemail. I tell family 24 hours on FMLA. I send them hard copy, fax copy to employer and save in chart.

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