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Title: Our observations with cold calling: Patient anger and undesirable experiences.
Austin Authors: Taylor, David McD ;Kant, Joyce A;Dombagolla, Mahesha Hk;Lai, Fiona Wy;Hendarto, Andreas
Affiliation: Eastern Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Goulburn Valley Health, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
Department of Emergency Medicine, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia
Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: Apr-2019
Date: 2019-02-19
Publication information: Emergency Medicine Australasia : EMA 2019; 31(2): 183-286
Abstract: Little is known about the effects of the 'cold calling' technique (telephone contact without prior warning) for patient follow up in ED research. Recently, we undertook a prospective, observational pain management study. Patients were cold called 48 h post-discharge and surveyed regarding their pain management satisfaction. We made contact with 778 patients. Among these, we observed 12 cases of patient anger: mistaken identity, disbelief that the hospital was calling, frustration that test results and appointment times could not be provided, abuse about ED management and outpourings of sadness. We also observed eight cases of an undesirable experience for either the patient, their family or the caller: five patients had died (including one 'at her last moments'), precipitation of patient distress and uncomfortable situations for the caller. Given our experience, we believe that cold calling should be avoided, where possible, and other techniques (e.g. limited disclosure) considered as alternatives.
DOI: 10.1111/1742-6723.13258
ORCID: 0000-0002-8986-9997
Journal: Emergency Medicine Australasia : EMA
PubMed URL: 30780201
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: emergency department
research method
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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