When medical providers miss patient phone calls, does that make them liable for poor health outcomes? That’s the argument being made against one Wisconsin doctor facing malpractice complaints after neglecting to respond in a timely manner to their patient, who later died. On the other hand, better medical message intake by front desk receptionists can improve patients’ access to care, ensure timely callbacks from doctors, and reduce medical liability. TriageLogic, a leader in telehealth technology, has released a new tool called MedMessage Assist (MMA), which helps front desk phone operators take more accurate messages from patients to providers.
What Is MedMessage Assist, and How Does It Work?
MedMessage Assistance is a real-time symptom analysis tool that uses augmented intelligence to help nonclinical operators — those working front desks or medical answering service centers — obtain all of the information that they need when speaking with patient callers.
How does it do this? By scanning text as a nonclinical operator is typing it.
MedMessage Assist then prompts the phone operator to ask further questions about patient symptoms. This allows providers to understand quickly and accurately assess how urgently they need to address the caller.
MedMessage Assist does not replace a triage nurse or a doctor, but it ensures that crucial calls get addressed quickly.
Dr. Charu Raheja, CEO of TriageLogic, recently explained that the beauty of MedMessage Assist is how it acts as a failsafe for operators. “Nonclinical operators don’t know when certain symptoms can be indicative of more serious conditions because they haven’t had that training and certification. MedMessage Assist makes sure that they ask the right questions so patients receive timely nurse assistance.”
MMA has already demonstrated over 99 percent accuracy when providing nurses with relevant patient health data. Precise patient intake means faster dispositions and better health outcomes for those who may need immediate assistance. Operators also become more efficient, which improves the quality of their calls and reduces practice liability.
MMA can also integrate with chatbots and automated systems to ensure doctors receive accurate and complete information from their prompts.
TriageLogic recently cited a patient calling for a prescription refill as an example of how MMA can help.
“Under normal circumstances, that message could easily indicate that a patient is simply calling in a refill request — nothing urgent,” said Dr. Raheja. “But we saw where MMA prompted additional questions for the operator to ask, leading the patient to explain how they’d been experiencing a severe headache and numbness in their left arm. These were clearly indications that a nurse or doctor needed to contact them immediately.”
MMA Implementation, Training, and Compliance
TriageLogic notes how MMA is designed to work with a practice’s existing software and easily integrate with an EMR’s workflow. This eliminates the need for implementing an entirely new system, or worrying about synchronizing data across platforms. Best of all, it is very affordable, and easy to use.
It can also cut the average training periods for new nonclinical operators in half, thanks to its self-teaching modules.
Finally, MMA complies with HIPAA requirements and cybersecurity best practices for healthcare.
Triage Nurses Benefit Practice Liability
While medical message intake is clearly vital to patient care, the same goes for having available triage nurses who can call those patients back in the appropriate windows of time. These are the nurses who evaluate patient symptoms over the phone using Schmitt-Thompson protocols, then direct them to the appropriate levels of care.
When practices are short-staffed, or simply don’t have enough telephone triage coverage, they’re encouraged to use TriageLogic’s Nurse Triage On Call service. This includes registered nurses who operate from a medical call center, and have been trained on the best patient phone etiquette. They utilize intuitive triage software with integrated Schmitt-Thompson protocols to evaluate the severity of all patient symptoms, document all interactions, and share that information directly with providers for continuity of care.
They also have the ability to schedule appointments (in-person and telehealth), as well as direct patients to the ER when necessary.
Nurse Triage On Call is available 24 hours a day, and operates as an extension of a provider’s own practice. This ensures all patient calls are answered and addressed so that patient health outcomes are improved, while practice liability and malpractice lawsuits are both substantially reduced.
Learn More About MMA and Nurse Triage
Practices that are interested in learning more about MedMessage Assist and nurse triage phone services are encouraged to contact TriageLogic at email@example.com, through their website, or by calling (800) 723-4290.
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.