Phones still remain an essential means of communication with medical practices. Physician practices have to continue to find efficient ways to incorporate it into the patient-doctor relationship and take advantage of all the other opportunities that a solution like TriageLogic offers. Physician practices that can efficiently and effectively take their patient’s calls and address their issues up front have an opportunity to create a positive experience for their patients.
Telephone triage has become increasingly important as a way to improve the healthcare process and overall patient satisfaction. With the increase in telephone interactions with patients, triage nurses have to adapt their knowledge and skills to less personal interaction with patients. This can present challenges even in the best of circumstances.
Patients want help quickly to navigate their next steps when they are not feeling well. With access to so many resources on demand in real-time, consumers have come to expect the same in healthcare.
This is why having a coordinated, standardized approach is vital for patient satisfaction and safety.
So, what can you do?
Most practices have two different needs depending on whether the office is open or closed. Choose the solution that best meets your facility’s needs.
During the day when the office is open: Utilize a software solution with your existing nurses.
Some practices have nurses in their office taking patient calls and scheduling visits with a doctor. This is where having a good platform to document patient calls and ensure standard protocols are being used to ensure patient safety can be very helpful in making the process efficient. Medical protocols such as Dr. Schmitt and Dr. Thompson’s protocols, are available electronically and provide standard care every time a nurse takes a call.
After hours when the office is closed: Use a turn key telephone triage solution.
It is crucial to have access to a triage nurse to ensure that patients can connect with your office even when you are closed. That prevents patient leakage and provides an appropriate level of care. Telephone nurse triage allows a practice’s telemedicine program to work seamlessly. Nurses use standardized protocols to answer patient questions, and the nurse notes can also be used as a quick reference for the physician before the telehealth visit similarly to the notes that the doctors receive when their nurses see a patient before them during a physical office visit.
No matter what route you take, having the right partner to work with is critical to the success of your triage program.
Make sure that your partner has a full-time medical director to oversee the software and nurses. It is also vital that the vendor provides proper training with both the clinical and software piece. For example, some practices purchase protocols and make changes without thinking of the implications of deviating from the standardized protocols and care advice that has been through a rigorous evaluation process. Having a resource with extensive triage experience and who can work with you to discuss your triage options is just as critical as the software or service you select.
Triage in an art form. Having protocols and software is a useful tool. Without proper training and support, it can lead to medical liability exposure.
Practices who delegate telephone triage to solutions like TriageLogic streamline the entire process and saving valuable time. Whether you have a busy private practice in need of a phone triage system, or a hospital seeking complete after-hours call center solutions, TriageLogic has a product to meet your needs.
Please contact our dedicated care team to learn more about the options available with TriageLogic.
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Great informative article!
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