The St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) “After-Hours” service was developed after community physicians recognized a need to provide quality after-hours care to their patients when their office is closed.
Julie Bruns, director of the SLCH Answer Line and Children’s Direct, recalls that at a time when an over-the-phone nurse triage service was still a young and unproven concept nationally, SLCH leadership forged ahead and approved the resources needed to proceed.
“The leadership team at SLCH had the courage to implement this service for our physicians, and we can see today that it was, and continues to be, a success,” says Bruns. “After-Hours started with 25 physician subscribers, and today that number is 320.”
Suzi Wells, MSN, RN, Answer Line manager, says it’s the relationships that form the heart of the team’s success.
“I’m most proud of the collaborative relationship between our nursing staff and the providers for whom we take calls. Also, I am proud of our national reputation in the medical call center industry,” says Wells. “It is rewarding for the After-Hours nursing staff to provide safe and effective care while providing compassion for and building trust with every patient, every family, every day.”
Offered to community pediatricians on a subscription basis, the After-Hours service is staffed by pediatric registered nurses who have worked in a variety of pediatric settings.
For more information, call the Answer Line at 314.362.5502.