Evaluating a Medical Call Center
Are you thinking about outsourcing your patient calls and medical answering services to a medical call center? Use this checklist to make sure that the center is secure, complies with HIPAA, and protects your patient data.
This study conducted by TriageLogic examined patient phone calls from our nurse triage call center during the COVID-19 pandemic to understand patient behavior and the effectiveness of telephone triage services. The data analysis included 230,000 calls over a period of ten months from January to October 2020, with 195,000 calls taking place during the pandemic.
Our review noted that the number of calls about COVID-related concerns mirrored the surges in the total number of cases in the United States. At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, patients were more likely to call about COVID-19 exposure than at later stages of the pandemic. Patients who called about COVID were more likely than average to need a follow-up with their doctor but less likely to need urgent medical attention.
The study highlighted the importance of increasing patient education throughout the pandemic, as patients who underestimated the severity of their symptoms were more likely to delay seeking medical care for fear of catching COVID. Telephone nurse triage provided a safe and efficient way to direct patients to the appropriate levels of care, saving lives and reducing the burden on healthcare systems. Triage nurses were able to identify patients who needed urgent medical attention and advise them to contact emergency services.
Wealso analyzed patient demographics and found that there was no significant difference in the gender of patients who called about COVID-19 compared to those who called for other reasons. However, patients aged 18-65 were 1.5 times more likely to call about COVID-19 compared to usual, while patients aged 65 or over were less likely to call about the virus.
Overall, the study demonstrated the effectiveness of telephone nurse triage in providing remote care for patients during the pandemic. It also highlighted the need for patient education and awareness to ensure that patients seek timely medical care when needed.