Healthcare networks may have made it past what was arguably the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re still experiencing challenges when it comes to available resources and medical staffing. This is in no small part due to the surge in RSV and flu cases this year, coupled with a growing nurse shortage. However, in conjunction with our long-standing, outsourced nurse triage services, TriageLogic offers new digital solutions that can help medical organizations overcome these burdens and improve patient care: a medical intake module that runs on artificial intelligence, a sophisticated patient notification service, and the implementation of SOC 2 compliance to ensure security of patient data.
When patients call in to doctors’ offices and hospitals, they’re usually greeted by a nonclinical staff member, or an Answering Service Operator (ASO) in a medical call center. Both of these roles are responsible for taking messages for these callers and relaying them to a clinical team for review. This arrangement creates a challenge because the patient caller, front desk associate, and ASO are typically not medically trained, meaning messages that are passed to triage nurses may not accurately reflect patient symptoms. Unfortunately, this isn’t a hypothetical concern. After a statistical analysis of patient calls, we found that roughly 40 percent of them should have been treated as urgent.
In the United States, about 100 million messages are relayed to doctors and nurses every month. About one in six calls have a symptom that needs to be evaluated immediately, but the message received by the provider does not always convey the urgency of the symptom. That is because a nonclinical operator takes messages for doctors and nurses in the medical industry. Neither the operator nor the patient is a trained medical professional, which can lead to an inadequate message. In an analysis of about 185 cases where the provider determined that the patient needed to “call 911,” nearly a third (30%) of the complaints had insufficient information to alert the provider to the urgency of the symptoms, causing delays in care and increases in morbidity and mortality.
That’s why we developed MedMessage Assist. This module uses artificial intelligence to analyze the messages entered in the background by a nonclinical operator as they type them. It then suggests follow-up questions for the operator to ask callers in order to further clarify their symptoms. It should be noted that MedMessage Assist adds only a few extra seconds to these calls; however, it does not recommend dispositions for care, nor attempt to triage callers. The goal is to document symptoms accurately so that triage nurses and providers can make the most informed decisions on the urgency of each patient’s symptoms.
MedMessage Assist operates as either a standalone module or an add-on to any existing system. It’s designed for speed and accuracy, offering an intuitive interface that trains its own users, making it even more valuable to providers that may be short-staffed or experiencing high turnover. Our analysis from current users shows that over 95% of emergency calls have accurate and sufficient information after using MedMessage Assist.
When you consider that roughly 75 percent of pediatric hospitals in the US are currently operating at total capacity due to all forms of respiratory illness, the need for accurate message intake cannot be understated.
Current TriageLogic customers are eligible for a free trial of MedMessage Assist to see how powerful this service can be for reducing liability, decreasing training time, and improving patient care.
Patient Notification Service
While patients may have no problem calling their providers about health-related concerns, they may not be as keen to answer callbacks. This often happens as more people rely on Do Not Disturb features or call blockers to screen numbers they don’t recognize — which certainly keeps the spam calls to a minimum, but could easily delay important health updates.
To improve contact rates, TriageLogic has developed a sophisticated patient notification service. Both secure and HIPAA compliant, it sends automatic texts to patients to let them know when triage nurses are reviewing their cases and getting ready to call them. This makes them aware of when to expect callbacks, and what phone numbers they will come from.
SOC 2 Type 2 Certification
It wasn’t long ago that we shared how we were completing our SOC 2 Type 2 certification, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Because SOC 2 reflects the highest level of data management excellence, it also demonstrates our continued commitment to patient privacy and data security. All of the digital solutions that we offer for doctors’ offices and hospital systems are designed to meet the highest standards of cybersecurity and HIPAA compliance. We also use a private cloud infrastructure and backup server for data redundancy; virtual private networks (VPNs) for data encryption; intrusion detection and log monitoring for network security; as well as other key features.
Interested in a Program?
Do you have questions about MedMessage Assist, our nurse triage software and services, or our cybersecurity best practices? We’d welcome a conversation to learn more about you and your needs. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our website to discuss a program to engage with your patients and keep them healthy.
Ravi K. Raheja, MD is the CTO and Medical Director 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.