A pediatric telephone consultation service with consultants based at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles has been made available to a group of physicians practicing in Southern California. Data collected reveal that this service has been utilized by many pediatricians and general practitioners. Ninety-one percent of the calling physicians indicated that they were helped by the consultation, and in over one-third of the instances both the practitioner and the consultant felt that the outcome of the problem was changed by the consultation.

In the majority of instances, incoming calls were efficiently handled by an experienced nurse-operator and an appropriate consultant was made available within 5 minutes 38% of the time and within 1 hour in 86% of all calls.

Among the pediatric telephone consultants who provided the service, the majority (76%) felt that this kind of service, if expanded, would favorably affect patient care in a signifficant way. Among practitioners who used the service, 94% asked that such a service be continued.

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