How Medical Practices and Organizations Can Benefit From Standardized Triage of Patient Phone Calls
A supervising physician is responsible for all medical advice given from his practice or team, no matter who on that team gives it. How can a doctor be sure that every patient calling is receiving consistent, correct advice every time? Doctors Schmitt and Thompson have created a standardized set of questions and dispositions based on patient symptoms to ensure that nurses give the same, high-quality standard of care every time a patient calls.
Many patient interactions start with a phone call. Nurses are usually the first line of care. They answer patient questions and determine if the patient needs to come in or be given a different disposition. In light of this, guided protocols empower nurses with a system that ensures patients get the right level of care for their symptoms. This may include providing urgent care when needed, while also striving to save resources and curb unnecessary office or ER visits.
Doctors Barton Schmitt and David Thompson, a pediatric practitioner and an internist respectively, identified this need and answered it. They knew that a set of standardized protocols would ensure that nurses function within the nursing scope of practice and help institute a consensus for triage protocols across the healthcare field. They developed a set of protocols that act as a “decision tree”. These decisions are based on symptoms and the most current research. In addition, an independent board of medical practitioners meet regularly to ensure all protocols are up to date.
How to Access Nurse Triage Protocols:
When considering how to encourage nurses to use protocols, it is important that they be easy to follow and document. Nurse triage software companies such as TriageLogic developed an easy to use triage protocols software program that allows nurses to document calls. They are also web-based and easy-to-train, so any office can implement them with no downtime. Electronic protocol software helps healthcare organizations get rid of bulky, book-based systems that can slow nurses down. TriageLogic makes it even easier by having a call center nurse manager train any client’s existing nursing staff.
Schmitt and Thompson’s protocols are used by health systems, physician offices, and medical call centers everywhere. 95% of medical call centers in North America now use these protocols, making them the most trusted system of remote triage care. They are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Accreditation Health Care Commission, and other important organizations. Schmitt-Thompson protocols help practices reduce legal liability, save resources like money and time, and provide the gold standard of care to patients.
Looking to implement the Schmitt-Thompson protocols? Contact us for a demo and a free one month trial.