Quality Content: Evidence-based Decision Support

You Want Reliable, Tested Decision Support

We have designed our symptom care guides for use by consumers. They are derived from the most widely-used telephone care protocols in the world. The Telephone Triage Protocols are used in over 400 medical call centers in the United States and Canada (95% of North American market). They have been the preferred decision-support tool in medical call centers since 1994 and tested in more than 250 million symptom calls.

The Schmitt-Thompson protocols are based on the following resources and evidence:

  • National Guidelines and Policies (e.g., AAP, AAFP, ACEP, ACOG, CDC, FDA, AHA, ADA and other national organizations)
  • The medical literature, including Cochrane reviews
  • Expert reviewers (more than 100)
  • Published research studies on the protocols (11)

The care advice in our content sets is consistent with what primary care physicians tell their patients. Many physicians and nurses refer to them as the standard of care.

In 2015, a group of Harvard physicians evaluated all the symptom checkers on the market. In their published study, they noted, “Symptom checkers that used the Schmitt or Thompson nurse triage protocols were more likely to provide appropriate triage decisions…” (BMJ 2015; 351:h3480).

Priority: Patient Safety

Patient safety is our highest priority. Each care guide is reviewed for accuracy by physicians, specialists and nurses. We also incorporate parent and consumer feedback regarding clarity, literacy-level and ease of use.

The decision support information is consistent with the Schmitt telephone triage protocol books used by 10,000 practices.

American Academy of Pediatrics

Since 2010, the AAP has licensed our Pediatric Symptom Checker for use on their public parenting website (www.healthychildren.org). They also asked Self Care Decisions to develop the official AAP Symptom Checker Apps: KidsDoc and KidsDoc en Espanol. Prior to implementation, the AAP reviewed the Symptom Checker content and made few recommendations.

Health Literacy Advisor Software

The Care Guides are written at a 6th grade health literacy level. They have been tested by the latest software from Health Literacy Innovations. This means more consumers can understand and follow their guidance. Attention to health literacy is recommended by the NIH, CDC and other national medical organizations.

Content You Can Trust

Up-to-Date Content

Dr. Schmitt and his team review and update the content on a yearly basis. The review includes input from nurses, physicians, and consumers, as well as statistical QI and medical evidence. Interim updates are delivered on a timely basis, as changes occur in medicine. New care guides and topics are developed each year. All are evidenced-based, reviewed and referenced.

Efficient by Design

Our Symptom Checker addresses specific symptom and injury scenarios. An average ‘check’ takes 2.5 minutes. This structure supports your customers in taking the right action and using the right resource at the right time.

Content Reviews

The Symptom Checker, used within our consumer engagement apps, have received many reviews: all of them are positive. It guides users as to what action to take regarding their symptoms.  As a decision-support tool, it reduces unnecessary ED visits. It also provides detailed home care advice, making it easy for users to manage minor illnesses and injuries at home.

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