- CATEGORIES: Improve Your Practice,Marci Lawing, RN, BSN,Overall Health,Technology for Providers
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How Triage Nurses Can Help Patients with Diabetes
Did you know that 29 million people living in the United States have diabetes? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that every five minutes two people die of diabetes-related causes and 14 adults are newly diagnosed. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diagnosed diabetes have medical expenses about 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes. Establishing a quality telephone triage service for your patients can help them manage the disease, talk to someone when they are having concerning symptoms, and increase their quality of life by establishing a path to care and preventing unnecessary ER visits.
Due to the high risk of complications with diabetes, patients should have a resource to discuss issues, symptoms, and early warning signs. Providing patients with a quality triage service will help diabetics to determine if they are able to manage symptoms at home or if they need to go to the ER immediately. For example, a patient calls their nurse triage line because they missed an insulin dosage and now their blood sugar is over 200. Using TriageLogic software such as MyTriageChecklist, the nurse is able to quickly ask the most appropriate questions, starting with the most emergent, in order to determine what level of care is needed. This helps save the patient time and money.
According to the American Diabetes Association the largest components of medical expenditures for diabetic patients are:
- hospital inpatient care (43% of the total medical cost),
- prescription medications to treat complications of diabetes (18%),
- anti-diabetic agents and diabetes supplies (12%),
- physician office visits (9%), and
- nursing/residential facility stays (8%).
The symptoms of diabetes can be easily dismissed and may go undiagnosed for years. For many, it is not until a major occurrence, such as a heart attack or infection that will not clear up, that individuals will seek medical attention. Additionally, patients with diabetes often have comorbid conditions or additional health complications. Diabetics are at a higher risk of serious health complications such as stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and heart disease.
Diabetes has become an epidemic in the U.S. and living with diabetes is not easy. TriageLogic can provide your practice with standardized protocol software so that no matter who answers the phone your patients receive the best quality telephone triage service. Since complications can happen at any time, TriageLogic also offers Nurse Triage On Call, an after-hours triage service for your patients have a registered nurse to evaluate symptoms and complications linked to diabetes.
Contact us today to discuss how TriageLogic can help your patients better manage chronic diseases and other complications and symptoms in order to live as healthy as they can.
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