TriageLogic A group of nurses from a nurse triage business take a photo together outside.

How to Start — and Grow — Your Nurse Triage Business

Have you recently created a telephone or telehealth nurse triage business, or are you looking to expand one that you currently operate? Doing either may seem difficult, which is why TriageLogic has developed solutions that can help. While these are available for you to read in more detail below, we’d also like to first provide a recap for those who may need one about what exactly nurse triage is, and why it’s so important.

What Is Nurse Triage?

Nurse triage is a healthcare service where registered nurses review patient call requests, prioritize them based on urgency, and respond to them within specific windows of time. When these RNs reach out to patients, they use the gold standard of nurse triage protocols developed by Drs. Barton Schmitt and David Thompson to evaluate patient symptoms and offer guidance on the type of care they should seek. Triage nurses do not diagnose, but they do anticipate the worst possible outcomes that patients may face in order to determine which providers can best assist them.

Why Is Nurse Triage Important?

The concept of nurse triage has been around for a long time. These days, patients often use phone triage to learn whether they should seek emergency care. Having this service is important because we’ve seen how patients tend to act without it: they either go to the ER (or urgent care) when they don’t need to, or they put off going when they should. There are a handful of reasons for why this happens, but the main takeaway is that having a reliable source of medical guidance from triage nurses makes it easier for patients to know what to do for their own health.

What Type of Nurse Triage Business Do You Run?

Nonclinical Call Center

There are some businesses in the realm of nurse triage that stick strictly to medical message intake. They hire and train nonclinical answering service operators who can field patient calls on behalf of various providers. The majority of the time, patients have no idea they’re talking with a medical call center, as these operators act as an extension of those practices. Operators take messages for why patients are calling, then forward those messages to triage nurses who will prioritize and respond to them within established callback windows.

While these nonclinical operators are beneficial to providers who need the additional phone coverage, they may overlook important questions when talking with patients that could influence how urgently nurses will need to respond. To avoid this potential risk to patient health, TriageLogic has developed an A.I.-based tool called MedMessage Assist*. It analyzes the text of the notes that operators record while speaking with patients, and recommends additional questions as needed to clarify symptoms. 

*Note: MedMessage Assist is not a replacement for nonclinical operators. It is a tool to help them improve the accuracy of their messages.

Nurse Triage Call Center

Other nurse triage businesses prefer to offer both medical answering services and callbacks from registered nurses. These require proper training and staffing to ensure that plenty of nurses are available to receive messages from nonclinical operators and respond to them appropriately. They also need to know what the recommended steps are during every triage call, how to operate their nurse triage software to document all patient interactions, and how to select the appropriate Schmitt-Thompson protocols based on the symptoms that each patient describes.

If this is the type of nurse triage business that you run, we have solutions to help you grow:

  1. Training. Triage nurses are welcome to review free materials in our Learning Center, as well as be tested to obtain triage certification from us for a nominal fee.
  2. MyTriageChecklist. Your team can use the most intuitive nurse triage software on the market, which includes integrated nurse triage protocols and the ability to customize options based on physician preference.
  3. Nurse Partnership with TriageLogic. TriageLogic has a new model for working with nurse triage groups that allows them to focus on patient care while we manage back office operations and business growth. We also provide software and nurse training. Contact Amy Smith at (800) 723-4290 to learn more about a nurse partnership with us.

Are You Ready to Grow Your Nurse Triage Business?

From medical message intake to nurse telephone triage, our goal has always been to provide tools that improve patient health outcomes and quality of care. When you’re ready to grow your nurse triage services, contact us to discuss one or more of the solutions above.

About TriageLogic

TriageLogic is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of top-quality nurse telehealth technology, remote patient monitoring, and medical call center solutions. Founded in 2007, the TriageLogic Group now serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 42 million lives nationwide.

Learning Center: courses and videos, learn more about telephone triage

Download E-Book “Revolutionizing Care – Technology and Telehealth Nurses in Remote Patient Care”

Download E-Book “A Provider’s Guide To Remote Patient Monitoring”

Download E-Book “Telehealth Trends During COVID-19”

DOWNLOAD E-BOOK “Telephone Nurse Triage Handbook”