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Table 1 Local context and services of individual trials

From: Impact of standalone and embedded telephone triage systems on after hours primary medical care service utilisation and mix in Australia

Trial Catchment Areas * † Notes
1. Statewide call centre Capital city, small rural centre and Other rural area 1.42 M
Rest of state – small rural centre and other rural area studied 42,500
1 Operator with prior international industry experience under contract to the State Government) 2 Free to caller
2. Regional call centre Capital city (inner region) 537,000
Non-metro satellite: Small rural centre 21,000
1 Startup operator
2 Free to caller
3 A GP AH walk-in clinic located adjacent to the ED of a regional hospital in the central metro area operating for part of the study period closed due to lack of demand.
3. Deputising service Capital city and Other rural area 229,000 1 GP-based telephone triage and advice service
2 Pre-existing and continuing Deputising service offering an AH walkin clinic and home visiting service.
3 Service offered to patients of previously enrolled GP practices and new enrolled GP practices beyond the metro area.
4 Commonwealth government funding of the program derived from 'cashing out' historical MBS reimbursements to the service – home visits during the trial not billed to patient.
4. Local triage and advice service Other rural area (ie small country town and surrounding community) 21,000 1 Hospital nurses using locally developed paper-based protocols
2 located in a local hospital in a rural community.
3 Aim to support GP own-practice AH arrangement to relieve GP AH burden.
  1. * Based on Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Areas classification (RRMA) [17]
  2. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics population projections for 1999 supplied to the Department of Health and Ageing