Patients today have more options than ever to receive care outside of their primary care – if they even have one. Having more options may seem like a good thing, however many times the consumer is confused about the best care to address their symptoms. In the process, they end up either over-utilizing services or underestimating serious medical symptoms, creating both a drain to the healthcare system as well as possible threat to their lives.
In a population health setting, this can lead to inappropriate use of resources which ends up being frustrating for the patient and expensive for the health system. Managing patient populations requires providers to use a customized approach to provide better care for patients, create a healthier population, and reduce healthcare costs. Providing access to a robust, nurse triage call solution with custom orders is a critical step in enabling this approach.
Managing multiple chronic diseases for a single patient requires complex scheduling, medicine regimens, and monitoring tasks—no to mention the counseling and patient education that is crucial to effective self-care. In addition to caring and helping their patients, providers benefit from providing a high quality telephone care for their chronically ill patients because it improves treatment effectiveness and compliance. Time and cost burdens for managing a whole population of such patients can be a significant problem for providers.
Telephone triage nurses serve as a continuation of a provider’s staff, allowing patients access to medical care and appropriate advice beyond the employed staff and their hours. Triage nurses use a combination of protocols and clinical directives. When a nurse triage service allows for custom orders, the nurse can follow tailored instructions based on physician or practice preferences, once the nurse has determined the appropriate level of care for the patient. For example, some doctors prefer to have their patients use specific brands of medications when necessary. Other examples include a particular urgent care center or ER to go to if patients need immediate treatment. The option allows the nurse to help patients as an extension of the doctor without having to call the doctor after every call.
Interested in ensuring your office nurses use appropriate protocols in the day time when handling patient calls? Day time protocols software such as MyTriageChecklist® is a telephone nurse triage software to triage and document patient phone calls when the doctor offices are open. The software provides a foundation of clinical support features including Schmitt-Thompson protocols, integration with existing EMR systems, and a clinical nurse manager to train all users. The MyTriageChecklist® also allows nurses to evaluate patients using gold standard protocols, and then follow with simple instructions based on physician or practice preferences. Optional features including data analytics reports and the use of large volumes of data help build patient categories at a relatively low cost and also allows doctors and practices to understand their patient groups and frequent questions better.