Date of Award

Spring 5-1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Community & Environmental Health


Community Health Professions

Committee Director

Gregory Frazer

Committee Member

John L. Echternach

Committee Member

Joann Richardson

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C48 L376


The problem of increasing health care costs and decreasing access to health care services is a major crisis in the U.S. today. One factor contributing to the rising cost of health care is the inappropriate use of emergency rooms, (ERs). In response to escalating costs a local health care corporation implemented a telephone triage program called the After Hours Program, (AHP). The goal of the program was to reduce inappropriate utilization of emergency rooms, and to educate patients to recognize and treat specific health problems independently, i.e., home treatment.

A program evaluation was completed in which different dimensions of patient satisfaction were measured including accessibility, interpersonal care and technical skill of the nursing staff, as well as convenience of alternate treatment facilities. Almost 90% of those surveyed rated the program as very good or excellent, and 99% of respondents stated they would call the nurses again for advice. The study indicated that patients are satisfied with the AHP, and the results warrant incorporation into the program's quality improvement plan.


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