Preparing Your Practice for the 2017 Influenza Season
Cases of influenza and patients with flu symptoms are already being reported across the U.S. It is time to prepare your office staff and patients for the prevention and treatment of the influenza virus. Establishing a quality telephone triage system, such as TriageLogic’s myTriageChecklist, will prepare your office for an influx of patient calls and help to prevent patients from unnecessary trips to the ER.
At a time when emergency rooms are full to capacity with a variety of patients suffering from minor illnesses to severe or life-threatening symptoms, using a nurse triage line can save time and money for your patients, as well as prevent exposing them unnecessarily to those patients that are truly sick and contagious. Keeping the patient at home and giving them care advice can also help them return to their life and work sooner.
Using telephone triage software, a nurse will use protocols, such as those from Barton Schmitt and David Thompson, to ask standardized, evidence-based questions to determine the severity of the patient’s symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate level of care. A triage nurse also relies on an accurate assessment to determine the best protocol to use to evaluate her caller. To help decide if using the influenza protocol is appropriate, a well-trained triage nurse will also take into consideration the season and if there are diagnosed cases of influenza in the patient’s community. The triage nurse will collect a thorough past medical history to look for conditions, such as Diabetes and Heart Disease, that lower a person’s immune system and can increase the risk for complications from Influenza.
The telephone triage nurse will use the office triage software to take the patient through a series of questions, starting with those of highest acuity and working her way down to those symptoms that probably can be safely treated at home. Making sure the patient knows what symptoms to watch out for and would require medical treatment, along with home care measures to ease their symptoms.
It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing to beautiful colors, and influenza season is near! It is not too late to set up your practice with a standardized telephone nurse triage system to manage the influx of patient calls during flu season. With TriageLogic’s myTriageChecklist, your nurses could be using the software within 30 minutes. If your practice needs some help managing the increased call volume this time of year, TriageLogic can also provide your patients with 24/7 access to an experienced registered nurse to assist patients and ensure the appropriate level of care. Contact us today or schedule a demo to find out more.
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