As of January 1, 2015, St. Louis Children’s Hospital no longer provides health advice or nurse “triage” service to callers of its 454.KIDS phone line.
The 454.KIDS (or 800.678.KIDS) phone line continues to serve as a resource to help parents find a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, enroll in community education events, register for Safety Stop appointments and find general information about Children’s Hospital.
“Over the past several years, we’ve noticed a significant decline in the number of nurse advice calls,” says Julie Bruns, director of the call center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Parents have other methods to find information online, or through smartphone applications such as our own ‘KidCare’ app.”
Bruns estimates that calls to 454.KIDS dropped from 90,000 per year in the late 1990’s to just 12,000 calls in 2014 – with only half requesting health advice/health information.
“Additionally, as we move toward a model of greater care coordination and the patient centered medical home model, it no longer seems appropriate to have a clinical encounter that is not tied to the patient’s primary care physician,” Bruns continues.
No nursing jobs have been eliminated. 454.KIDS nurses will be re-deployed to other clinical telehealth work in the call center.
Children’s Hospital’s “After Hours” triage service provided to over 320 subscribed pediatricians in the area is not affected by this change and will continue.