ClickCare Café

OnCall and Coverage: how many words?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, Oct 08, 2010 @ 12:49 PM

We are sure you have heard that Eskimos have 100 words to describe snow.

Hawaiians similarly have many to describe the many emotions of the ocean. (full disclosure: some think that  this is an urban myth,see:  ( have many words to describe the many emotions of the ocean, These words describe their close relationship to their environment.

But have you thought about the fact that nurses and doctors have over 20 words for on call and coverage?

The new iClickCare for web and iPhone is about to be released. While working at this for over 15 years, we realized that on call and coverage are very important to all of us. So, we are building in a simple to use system that lets users to build there own coverage groups and on call notifications. Try to explain that to software engineers. We found that our everyday terms aren’t explicable to very smart people, and our developers are, indeed, very smart people!  So, in order to help us clarify what we wanted to say, we started to place the very simple terms into a table. After a few minutes we had added row after row, and discovered nuance after nuance.

We even remembered, that in the modern day of medicine, there is yet another phrase: “Post Call”. A phrase that makes collaboration and ClickCare even more important.

Please look through the table below and add your own words about call and coverage in the comments. But remember,as difficult as it may be, this is a family oriented site, so don’t use the words that you really use when you have to cover and have to be on call!  With great discipline and restraint we were very responsible and even controlled ourselves!

I’m covering FORHello Ms Jones, I’m Dr Down, I am covering for Dr Salk this weekend.  How are you doing…Overview: on call list checked

Root Word When used Root Phrase Modifying Phrase iClickCare
Cover… Talking to someone who needs to know your schedule: I’m covering ___ the ER, at Hospital A, but not B, and I am on hand an plastic call Overview: on call list checked
  Talking to a patient who is another doctors patient and in the hospital, or talking over the phone I’m covering FOR Hello Ms Jones, I’m Dr Down, I am covering for Dr Salk this weekend. How are you doing… Overview: on call list checked
  Answering: Who is in you coverage group? I cover WITH these other doctors Coverage group
    I cover GI with Dr Wagenstein, but I cover pediatrics with Dr Down Two organizations
  ER Who is covering for Dr. X?  
    Who is on call for… Plastics  
    Who covers with the new doctor  
Privileges Administrator …privileges to cover… You are part of the ENT department, you do not have privileges to cover cardiac surgery Departmental control (credentialing)
Department Academic …in the department of… I have a dual appointment in the surgery department, the vascular section and the radiology department I have been trained, certified and credentialed in two specialities.
  Administrator …in the department of… The disciplinary action will be reviewed by the surgery department and then referred to the medical executive committee Policy and procedure on done by department.  Often historical and anatomically based.
On Call Talking to someone who needs to know your schedule: I’m on call at__ the ER at Hospital A, but not B, and I am on hand an plastic call  
On Call and Coverage   I’m covering
our practice, but I am not on call for the ER Call vs coverage
Default Medical personnel,
regulatory agencies,
civil lawyers, criminal lawyers.
Expectation is that all patients need availability at all times.  To not provide it is abandonment both morally and legally. This is a long tradition. I did not know I was on call.  I left a message I was out of town. Did you contact your coverage and document that in the chart?
Slang in the barrel, in the box,      
  On On for what      
Nurse my shift      
  on duty      

Tags: medical responsibilities, collaboration, on call

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