Nurse triage has always been about guiding patients to better health outcomes. Our registered nurses are available 24/7, and they guide patients using Schmitt-Thompson protocols and custom doctor orders. In addition, our myTriageChecklist software gives office nurses the ability to follow protocols and properly document interactions and symptoms when patients call their doctors. While we frequently tout the benefits of outsourcing this service and software, there are other areas where we remain active, such as developing healthcare technology and medical scripting to improve communication between providers and nurses. Here are the ways we’ve found to give back in the past year, and the exciting advancements we’ve seen in digital health.
Medical Message Intake Benefits From Artificial Intelligence
Historically, our healthcare technology has involved tools that make it easier for certified medical professionals to interact with patients. But there are plenty of times when nonclinical team members — sometimes known as Answering Service Operators, or ASOs — will be the first points of contact between patient callers and their doctors’ offices. Because these operators aren’t medically trained, it’s easier for them to miss asking about or recording relevant patient symptoms that nurses and providers will need to know in order to avoid delays in care.
You might be surprised how often these inaccuracies occur for health systems in the United States. For the ASOs whose performance we reviewed, we initially thought the solution would be better training. While this did temporarily improve their performance, accuracy scores actually worsened in the long term.
Resolution finally came in the form of an artificial intelligence-based tool we call MedMessage Assist. It’s a healthcare module that analyzes the text that nonclinical operators type while speaking with patients over the phone. When it recognizes a specific symptom that could be clarified, it prompts operators with additional questions to ask their patients. Those answers could mean the difference between triage nurses interpreting caller symptoms as nonurgent when they’re actually urgent. In our analysis, MedMessage Assist has demonstrated dramatic progress by already leading to accuracy rates of 95 percent when addressing emergency calls.
MedMessage Assist is valuable for a number of reasons beyond improving the accuracy of medical message intake. For starters, it can be used as a standalone module, or integrated with any medical software you currently have. Second, it offers self-guided instruction, training new users as easily as when it’s applied to patient calls by experienced ones, while adding minimal time to the normal intake process. Finally, it pays for itself by standardizing nurse response and bettering patients’ continuity of care.
Additional Development: Secure Texting
Besides the use of A.I., we’ve developed secure texting services that work between doctors and nurses, as well as nurses and patients. For doctors, this serves as a convenient means of sharing important details about patient symptoms in a readable form when background noise or low signals may affect voice calls. All notifications are encrypted, including acknowledgements nurses receive when doctors have reviewed patient data.
Triage nurses can also send notifications to patients about reviewing their medical requests, and what phone numbers to expect for their callbacks. This helps patients avoid screening these callbacks or letting Do Not Disturb features block them.
TriageLogic Named Honoree by GrowFL
We were excited to learn that TriageLogic was recently recognized by the Edward Lowe Foundation as an honoree for their GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch competition. This award goes to those businesses that are considered “second stage,” having moved beyond startup status and poised for significant growth.
If you asked us what helped us achieve this recognition, we’d have to say that a major factor has been our recent advancements in healthcare technology: the solutions we offer are built to be intuitive, user friendly, secure, and available for integration with any existing healthcare software. While that certainly includes the outsourced nurse triage we mentioned above, it also comes down to the work we’ve done as a whole over the past year.
In addition to developing new solutions to improve patient care, TriageLogic team members have been involved in community-based efforts to benefit local health initiatives. Earlier this year, I had the honor of being accepted into the Cornerstone Class for Leadership Florida, where I’ll be part of a team of leaders who will learn from experts about statewide issues and the needs of different communities. I am also on the board of the Northeast Florida American Heart Association, where I help with programs that address and increase education of social determinants of health. At the same time, my husband Ravi was recently accepted to the Leadership Jacksonville Board, a similar opportunity to share industry knowledge and develop health technologies for Northeast Florida.
Nurse Triage in 2023
While triage nurses undeniably serve a pivotal role in the continuity of patient care, it’s also important that we take steps to educate the local community, hear their concerns, and find public health solutions that work. Part of that certainly comes from the certified care delivery of your medical team, but it’s also about giving your nonclinical workers the tools and training they can use to offer seamless communication with the rest of your staff.
We’re proud of the growth and development that TriageLogic has achieved to meet healthcare challenges, and we’re excited to see what new digital technologies will evolve from them.
If you’d like to talk more about the services outlined above — including a trial run of MedMessage Assist for your telephone and telehealth triage nurses — please contact us to discuss a program.
Charu Raheja, PhD is the CEO of the TriageLogic Group.
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 12,000 physicians and covers over 25 million lives nationwide.