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Injuries and illness don’t just happen during office hours. They can occur at any time of day or night and are most often unpredictable. Likewise, many pediatricians do not work a 9-to-5 schedule. You and other providers take calls on nights, weekends, and holidays so that someone from your practice is available to counsel those who find themselves in need of after-hours medical advice. Otherwise, patients will end up going to the emergency room when they may only need an over-the-counter remedy.

Unnecessary emergency room visits are costly and burdensome to an already expensive and overloaded healthcare system. Therefore, having an effective after-hours exchange is crucial in providing continuous and worthwhile patient care.

With Anytime After Hours, you can reduce healthcare costs, while ensuring excellent patient outcomes. Here are 10 ways our after-hours exchange minimizes emergency room visits and keeps pediatric care complete.


Wait times are lower than a traditional after-hours exchange.

Typically, a traditional after-hours exchange is staffed by unlicensed personnel who are not qualified to offer medical advice. This means that every message they take will be routed to the on-call provider. However, clinicians cannot answer all the calls at all hours without a delay. These inevitable lags can translate into your patients proceeding to the emergency room or urgent care because they may not feel comfortable waiting for a return call. Anytime After Hours eliminates this barrier. Upon calling your after-hours exchange, a qualified professional will be on the other end of the line, ready and able to address your patient’s concerns at the time of their call.

The person answering is a registered nurse with pediatric and triage experience.

Anytime After Hours is staffed by registered nurses with at least five years of pediatric or triage emergency room experience. Our after-hours exchange nurses can differentiate between callers who are simply in need of reassurance, those who truly need to be routed to the provider on-call, and those who are experiencing emergency symptoms. Patients always receive evidence-based medical advice when they speak with an Anytime After Hours nurse.

Families can upload photos or videos.

Anytime After Hours nurses can easily convert an after-hours phone conversation with parents into a video consultation. Nurses might prefer these virtual visits if they need to visually assess your patient. Plus, parents can upload photos or videos in real time to assist with the nurse’s triage.

Nurses are trained in triage protocols.

Our nurses follow the widely used and accepted Schmitt-Thompson Protocols for every patient call. In addition, nurses are able to utilize practice-approved standing orders. This allows your after-hours exchange to be a reliable source of medical advice. Our nurses are able to offer your patients and their parents appropriate reassurance and consistent treatment plans.

Nurses can route calls to immediate telehealth visits if necessary.

With virtual nurse triage, your after-hours exchange is better able to route patients to the appropriate setting for the right level of treatment. If, during a triage evaluation, our registered nurse determines that your patient does not need an emergency room visit but would benefit from a same-day appointment, they are able to transition the call into an immediate telemedicine visit.

Nurses can schedule telehealth or in-person visits for the next business day.

If the nurse recommends a next-day appointment, Anytime After Hours has protocols in place that allow our nurses to access your scheduling preferences. Our after-hours exchange can help you customize your hours and schedule the types of visits you deem appropriate to be completed virtually. Your patients will never be disconnected from a phone call without being given an appropriate treatment plan.

All calls are secure and meet HIPAA guidelines.

It wasn’t that long ago that providers were completing telehealth visits through FaceTime and other non-secure platforms. However, as demand has evolved, you can now perform telehealth visits via HIPAA-compliant platforms like Anytime Pediatrics. After-hours exchange calls and virtual visits are not recorded, nor are they shared with anyone. Your patients can feel confident in their environment, which fosters comfort and trust, allowing them to express their wellness concerns.

All documentation from the call can be downloaded to your EMR.

We understand that not having access to your patient’s medical records — lab results, prescriptions, and previously given medical advice — is a barrier to developing an appropriate treatment plan. We developed our after-hours exchange with this in mind! All after-hours call information feeds into your practice portal. This means you can download call summaries, triage notes, and dispositions into your electronic medical record, facilitating continuity of care.

Patients receive appropriate follow-up instructions.

Follow-up recommendations are an important step in after-hours care. To ensure closed loop communication, our triage nurses recommend an appropriate follow-up plan, whether that’s a next-day appointment or an emergency room visit. Our nurses guide patients to the best point of care so they are never without next steps.

Patients stay in the medical home.

Your patient’s symptoms may not warrant an emergency department visit, but many parents don’t know that. Being able to provide timely evaluations to your patients along with comfort and professional guidance is crucial to giving excellent patient care. Our after-hours exchange nurses offer thorough assessments to help alleviate parental anxiety associated with sick kids, all while maintaining continuity of care and keeping patients in their medical home.


Are you ready to learn more about Anytime After Hours and how it can benefit your pediatric practice? Contact us today to request a consultation!