A study published in Pediatrics this week found that the after hours nurse call centers used by many practices are safe and reliable. Reuters reported on the article (subscription required to Pediatrics) Tuesday on the study of 33,000 calls to Children’s Hospital in Colorado of Kaiser Permanente members. It was determined that that compliance rates were 74 percent for both urgent care and home care disposition recommendations. For example, only 44 percent of callers complied with advice to seek care the next day. Nurse call centers, many operated by private companies, can be a valued addition to a practice to manage after hours care. Part of the success of these programs is the ability for a patient to speak directly with the on-call physician is they want to, and the ability to schedule a next day appointment. Some practice follow up and call patients who use the after-hours call center the next day, both to check on the advice from the nurse and to make sure that any follow up – including an appointment – is taken care of.