Providing Telephone Advice from the Emergency Department

Revised January 2019, February 2013

Reaffirmed October 2006

Revised July 2000, August 1995

Originally approved September 1989


Emergency departments (EDs) often receive telephone calls from the public seeking medical advice. The focus of the ED is providing care for patients in the department and ACEP recommends that EDs do not attempt medical assessment or management by telephone. EDs should have a process for responding to calls from the public to help direct the public to timely access to appropriate care. ACEP encourages EDs to work with regional support services that may include but are not limited to medical call lines, telehealth services, and toxicology services creating an emergency network for patients to access timely and appropriate care.

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