An older patient uses a laptop to talk with their doctor after scheduling an appointment with telehealth nurse triage.

Improving Patient Care and Satisfaction: 5 Solutions for Telehealth Nurse Triage

Do your triage nurses have a hard time reporting patient symptoms and responding to them in the right order? Fortunately, there are several innovative tools that are available to address these issues and enhance your patient care. Let’s explore five key solutions for telehealth nurse triage.

1. MedMessage Assist™: Enhancing Symptom Reporting

Nonclinical operators are usually the first people to assist patient callers long before any telephone triage services. But these operators aren’t usually knowledgeable when it comes to asking about all possible symptoms beyond what your patients are telling them. This can inadvertently delay care and put your patients’ health at risk.

Consider the scenario of Jane, a 72-year-old woman who has just had an episode of vertigo. She calls her healthcare provider to ask for a prescription refill, but fails to mention numbness in her arm, a possible sign of stroke. The nonclinical operator who takes Jane’s call doesn’t think to ask about any other symptoms before sharing this information with their triage team. The individual nurse who responds deems it a simple refill request and a low priority. Overlooking Jane’s symptom of numbness puts her at risk for a serious, even fatal, health outcome. 

Enter MedMessage Assist, a groundbreaking tool designed by TriageLogic to bridge the communication gap between patients and providers. It analyzes call notes in real time as they’re being typed, then prompts nonclinical staff to ask pertinent follow-up questions that ensure comprehensive symptom reporting.

MedMessage Assist improves medical message intake so that every provider at your practice can deliver the appropriate level of care with confidence.

2. Nurse Triage Office Protocols: Standardizing Patient Care

Nurse triage protocols are crucial for consistent patient assessments. Those developed by Drs. Barton Schmitt and David Thompson for pediatrics and adults are considered the gold standard within our industry. Split into daytime and after-hours versions, they can be used by triage nurses to evaluate patient symptom severity. They also determine how soon those patients should be diagnosed by their primary care, urgent care, specialists, or physicians at emergency rooms.

Patients seeking care learn whether they really need to go to the doctor, while their dispositions are prioritized based on all reported symptoms.

3. Integration of Call Information With Electronic Health Records

Do you outsource your telehealth nurse triage to a medical call center of registered nurses? It’s vital that their software and yours can integrate, so that your electronic medical records are updated accordingly. This integration should enable real-time, two-way communication between the call center and your providers for immediate access to patient information.

This is particularly important when considering how most diagnoses are made using patient medical histories. “Medical providers understand that being able to see patients’ histories has huge implications in triaging chronically ill patients and patients recently discharged from hospitals,” according to Dr. Ravi Raheja, TriageLogic’s medical director. “This technology allows our provider clients to get notes sent directly to their EHR system.” 

Data integration creates a health information exchange (HIE), where providers are given a secure, holistic solution for improving continuity of care. This integration is what TriageLogic promotes in all of its tools, from nurse triage software to the AI-powered modules discussed in this article.

Note: Cybersecurity and industry compliance are just as important as data interoperability. TriageLogic takes critical steps to ensure our tools and the data they share and transmit are all HIPAA compliant, and follow the best practices for data security when it comes to software, hardware, networking, user access, and physical protections.

4. Triage Assist: Educating Triage Nurses With AI

Triage Assist uses artificial intelligence to replicate real-life patient scenarios to make it easier for new triage nurses to train. By furnishing a secure and controlled setting, nurses participate in learning experiences without compromising actual patient care. This AI training module is intended to boost nurse confidence and competence, reflecting research that notes how effective this training style can be.

Nurses can use these scenarios to refine their muscle memory about how to approach each patient caller, how to document those interactions, and which protocols to use. Each scenario is customizable, and incrementally more difficult than the last. By the end of the program, nurses are equipped to handle the wide range of callers they’re bound to encounter.

Triage Assist also means nurse managers no longer have to conduct live training sessions for new nurses. Instead, they can review nurse performance that is recorded by the training module so that they can tailor their coaching and guidance. Our module is also designed to be self-teaching, making it easier for nurses to start practicing immediately.

5. Quality Assurance Assist: Helping Nurse Managers Ensure Optimal Performance

Traditional methods of quality assurance for telehealth nurse triage are not terribly effective. Most providers have limited resources to go back and listen to nurse calls to evaluate their performance and accuracy.

Quality Assurance (QA) Assist aims to change that. It works in real time to analyze triage calls, and compares the dispositions that nurses give against the protocols that best align with reported symptoms. 

In this manner, QA Assist generates a comprehensive review for each triage nurse at a given practice. This level of transparency not only provides healthcare organizations with enhanced oversight but also offers improved liability management and better training opportunities.

Do You Need Telehealth Nurse Triage?

By investing in standardized protocols and leveraging nurse triage technology, healthcare providers like yours can streamline their communication, decrease liability, and enhance patient satisfaction. In other words, each step of a patient’s journey with your practice can be as accurate and effective as possible. More importantly, your providers will have access to services that will offer consistency of care and improved patient outcomes.

Would your practice like to implement the telehealth nurse triage solutions we’ve outlined above? Contact us today to learn more about how you can revolutionize patient engagement!

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 22,000 physicians and covers over 42 million lives nationwide.

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