UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MEDICAL FOUNDATION
POLICY AND PROCEDURE
TITLE: CLOSING TELEPHONE ENCOUNTERS
Effective Date: May 16, 2007 Approval: See Authorization
Supersedes Protocol: None Contact: See Author
PURPOSE: To provide guidelines to UWMF physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and
clinical staff that define the appropriate time interval to close a telephone encounter. The purpose is to
avoid telephone encounters remaining in an open status indefinitely. Encounters which remain open for
a prolonged period of time are at risk for inadvertent use by other departments or users.
POLICY: UWMF physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and clinical staff will use the
following guidelines to close telephone encounters.
1. Telephone encounters remain in open status during attempts to contact the patient.
Encounters should be closed if providers or staff have made multiple attempts to contact
and left messages to return calls and are unable to reach the patient within three business
2. Exceptions to this guideline may be made based on the clinical judgment of the provider
or staff. In situations such as when a patient wants to speak directly to a provider or to a
clinical staff who has been dealing with that patient’s issue, the staff must demonstrate
clinical judgment about keeping the encounter open until their return.
3. Clinic managers should periodically review the InBasket folders. If telephone encounters
are still open after three business days, manager will work with providers or staff to
resolve and close them.
WRITTEN, REVIEWED, and APPROVED BY:
EpicCare Clinic Operations Work Group
Medical Director Date