After Hours Call Etiquette

Allergies After Hours: How We Can Help

It’s 10 p.m., your allergies are acting up like crazy, you reach for your old prescription bottle… and it’s empty. Or, it’s the middle of the night and you wake up wheezing, and your inhaler doesn’t seem to be helping. Or maybe it’s a Sunday and you’re pretty sure you have a bad sinus infection and think you need antibiotics. Is it an “allergy emergency”?

Yes, asthma and allergy issues happen at all times of the day (or night!), and don’t always coincide with our office hours. As an AAPRI patient, you know that we always strive to provide the best possible care, and this is why we have medical professionals on call for after-hours emergencies. To make sure you get the care you need, here are a few things you should know about what we can and can’t do for you when the office is closed:

What the AAPRI after-hours line CAN do:

  • Give basic advice: The on-call doctor or nurse practitioner can give some advice, but since they’re not your regular physician, or they don’t have access to your records, it may be limited. That’s why it’s essential to stay up to date on your regular visits.
  • Make a note in your chart of the problem: Then, during regular hours, your doctor can read your updated chart and have the latest info.
  • Point you in the right direction: If you should come in for an office visit or if you need to go to the emergency room right away, we’ll let you know.

What the AAPRI after-hours line CANNOT do:

  • Start a new prescription: Because of liability issues, AAPRI can’t call in a new prescription for you without seeing you first.
  • Refill an old or expired prescription: Why? Because things change, and we need to see you for an appointment to make sure your health history is up to date before we can give you more medication.
  • Give detailed advice or diagnoses: Our doctors and nurses are wonderful, but even they can’t come up with a diagnosis or new treatment plan just by talking over the phone!

Remember, these rules and regulations are in place for your safety and protection! And avoiding situations like the ones described is a great incentive for you to plan ahead: keep all your booked appointments, schedule one if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen us, and stay on top of medication refills well ahead of time.

Of course, if you are having a medical emergency, don’t hesitate to call our after-hours line. And remember that if it’s something like difficulty breathing, always call 911 first! But for everything else, please call during regular hours or come in for an appointment so we can provide you with the best possible care. We’d love to see you!

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