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Managing Patient Calls During the Holidays

Managing Patient Calls During the Holidays

The beginning of the 2017 holiday season is here and many practices are evaluating how they will be managing patient calls during the holidays. Fall can be a busy time for your practice, with the flu and back-to-school colds making their way through your community. Halloween brings its own horrors with patient calls about children throwing up and not sleeping from too much candy or various injuries from wandering crowded dark streets for treats.  Additionally, fall means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Holidays not only mean increased patient call volume, but they often mean closing the office for a few days. Providing patients with quality nurse triage solutions can ensure that the practice is able to manage calls and patients are able to receive continuity of care.

“We always experience an increase in call volume during the holidays,” said Marci Lawing, RN and Clinical Nurse Manager for TriageLogic. “Each holiday has its own special patient phone calls. Our typical phone calls range from flu symptoms to children eating ornaments.”

While the office is open, patients can receive consistent telephone assessment and care advice, even if the office is busy, when the practice has a quality telephone triage software, such as MyTriageChecklist. Daytime triage software can help the nurses in the office deliver care advice, using Schmitt-Thompson protocols, and quickly document every call in the patient’s chart. MyTriageChecklist can even be combined with an office’s Salesforce platform, providing seamless integration.

During the holidays, many practices close their office for a few days to allow their staff to spend time with their families. However, this is often a time of year when patients need access to a provider the most. Physicians must decide how they will provide care for their patients while the office is closed.

There are two main options for managing patient calls when the office is closed. Providers can either set up their own system using their staff and giving them access to a telephone triage software, such as TriageLogic’s Call Center Solution, to manage after-hours calls, or use a nurse triage service, such as TriageLogic’s Nurse Triage On Call, to forward patient calls. While each has its own pros and cons, the provider must decide what will work best for their particular practice, staff, and patients. (See this article on How to Manage Patient Calls Based on the Size and Needs of Your Organization.)

Contact TriageLogic to discuss which nurse triage solution will work best for you practice, staff and patients this holiday season. Your patients will thank you for being available to help them even when your office is closed.

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