- CATEGORIES: Data and Research,Doctors and Hospitals,Improve Your Practice,Research,Research for Providers,Technology,Technology for Providers
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By Dr. Ravi Raheja
Many people have commented to me that getting doctors to agree on anything is like herding cats together. There are several reasons why physicians behave the way they do. In spite of all the advances in technology, medicine is still an art as much as a science. Physicians depend on their training, the patient’s history and clinical data to come up with the best care plan. However, underlying all of this, physicians must rely on their instincts that have been honed from years of hard work and experience.
In addition, physicians are ultimately held responsible for the outcome of their patients, no matter who else is involved in patient care along the way. Due to this serious responsibility, physicians manage the patients in a way that makes them comfortable that they are providing the best care possible. When other healthcare extenders such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and registered nurses help provide care, physicians need to know that they are working in a manner consistent with their own decision-making and practice style.
Telephone nurse triage is one such aspect where registered nurses handle phone calls for physicians when their office is closed. They use standardized protocols to assess the patient's symptoms and decide on the appropriate level of care. However, many physicians would like to provide additional care devices, symptomatic treatment or customized care plans based on their individual preferences outside of the standard protocol. Communicating these preferences consistently and reliably is a challenge unless you have the appropriate technology in place.
TriageLogic understands the importance of customization based on each practice’s preferences. That is why our technology allows the practice to specify its doctors’ preferences for the nurses to use after the standardized protocols determine the appropriate level of care. So when a nurse is taking calls for several practices, she can follow specific instructions for each practice and make sure patients are getting the care and advice that their physicians would give themselves.
For example, a mom calls about her three-year-old with a fever. The nurse would use the Schmitt protocols to determine the appropriate level of care. If the protocol determined that the child was safe to stay at home, the nurse could then use custom orders to give care advice based on the practice’s preferences. Some preferences could be things like using brand name Tylenol verses generic or alternating Tylenol and Motrin instead of just using a single medication.
By using custom orders as a supplement to standardized protocols, physicians can feel comfortable that their patients are getting the standard of care and instructions based on their specific preferences.