Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine


Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery


The “Clinical Practice Guideline: Tympanostomy Tubes in Children” published in 2013 by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation encourages that an “educational video, or other teaching aid, should be developed to illustrate how parents/caregivers” may manage postoperative complications such as tube otorrhea; however, the current literature is devoid of such patient safety and quality improvement measures. Our objective was to develop an effective educational model to assist parents and caregivers in understanding the signs and symptoms of tympanostomy tube (TT) otorrhea and how to independently institute the appropriate otologic treatment. A 3.5 × 2-inch instructional card was designed to illustrate TT otorrhea and describe the subsequent steps necessary to obtain and institute the appropriate medical therapy. This was distributed to caregivers of all patients undergoing TT placement in September 2016; patients undergoing TT placement in May 2016 served as the preintervention control cohort. Group comparisons were made before and after implementation of the educational model by number of telephone calls our clinic triaged regarding untreated TT otorrhea, as documented within the electronic medical record. A total of 30 sets of TT were placed in September 2016, compared to 27 sets of TT in May 2016. Postoperatively, a run chart revealed a significant shift (ie, 7 consecutive points) in the number of telephone calls received (16-5 calls) after establishment of the proposed educational model. This clinical experience demonstrates the utility of patient-driven management of TT otorrhea through ancillary educational material. Given the superiority of topical otic therapy, continued translation efforts are needed for continued focus on practice implementation and dissemination.

Source Citation

Patel, V. A., Harounian, J. A., & Carr, M. M. (2019). Decreasing Telephone Calls for Tympanostomy Tube Otorrhea: A Pilot Study. Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, 98(2), 81–84.


a The Author(s) 2019

Article reuse guidelines: DOI: 10.1177/0145561319828363



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.