Background: Optimal management of childhood diabetes benefits from access to a 24-hour support line. If staffed by on-call physicians, repeated interruptions to sleep can lead to physician burn out. Utilization, and outcomes of an after-hours nurse call service in a pediatric endocrinology practice have not been previously reported.

Methods: Barton Schmitt guidelines, which are widely accepted as the standard for telephone triage care, were modified to include our institution specific diabetes management protocols. We analyzed demographics, reasons for call, clinical presentation to the emergency room, and clinical disposition of the callers.

Results: After we instituted our after-hours nurse triage service (September 2019), the call burden to the on-call physicians decreased by 70%. Patients who called the after-hours line before coming to the emergency room were less sick (higher pH and lower glucose) and were more likely to be discharged home. We cannot infer causality from our data. Nevertheless, given that <10% of patients called first, encouraging earlier and more consistent utilization of the nurse line seems like a low-cost intervention that might reduce hospital admissions for diabetic ketoacidosis. After-hours service was utilized well by our patients of all races and insurance statuses. We noted that language was a barrier in utilization which is an opportunity for improvement.


A.Choudhary: None.

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