Why should you record your triage calls? That may sound like a silly question, but not everyone does — and that’s a risky decision when it comes to maintaining high levels of quality assurance. Recording your calls will keep nurses accountable, mitigate liability against them and your practice, and provide oversight to identify potential training needs. Here’s more about why each of these reasons are important, and how TriageLogic addresses them within its own nurse triage call center.
Nurses should be aware that you record your triage calls. It will make them less likely to deviate from protocols and give their own care advice or diagnose callers, which is very important: the purpose of telehealth triage is not to diagnose, but rather, to provide dispositions on care. These dispositions will give patients guidance on the recommended care to address their symptoms, but further courses of action should be given by a medical doctor or facility. This is true whether nurses tell patients to manage their symptoms with home care, schedule appointments with their primary care providers, or go immediately to the closest emergency rooms.
Recording calls also reassures patients because they know that what they discuss on them will be available for review later, should they have any follow-up questions, concerns, or complaints.
Note: Recorded calls can also be a means of protecting your nurses against patient complaints. Ideally, they should corroborate notes that those nurses posted in patient files via triage software, as well as the Schmitt-Thompson protocols the nurses used to determine dispositions.
When you record your triage calls, you have a means of reducing potential liability in the event of a negative outcome. These logs allow you to review what steps were taken to address each patient’s needs, whether nurses exhibited the proper behavior when interacting with those patients, whether they followed the 10 Critical Steps for every triage call, and whether they responded appropriately to difficult callers.
Recorded triage calls also allow for training and performance improvement. You can evaluate triage nurses on whether they’re: a) following established procedures and scripts, b) performing call-backs in the appropriate duration of time, and c) using the correct Schmitt-Thompson protocols to determine patient dispositions. It’s also important to verify that they’re documenting all information accordingly — both internally with triage software, and with any referred provider (either with their EMR directly, or with an EMR-compatible file).
When any evaluations indicate that nurses are struggling in one or more of these areas, nurse managers will then have the feedback they need to create training opportunities.
What Your Organization Needs to Decide
If your organization chooses to record triage calls, your team will need to determine the following items:
- The duration of those recordings.
- How you’ll store them.
- When and how you’ll access and delete them.
Part of this discussion will also involve your current cybersecurity, as it pertains to the protection and compliance of your patient data.
Nurse Triage On Call
Organizations that may have a difficult time managing their telehealth triage — whether this involves staffing shortages, software needs, or addressing daytime or after-hours calls — will be happy to learn that there are outsourced options available that can fulfill all of the quality assurance components listed above. TriageLogic’s Nurse Triage On Call is a service run out of our clinical call center that allows registered nurses to become an extension of a healthcare provider’s practice. We can answer patient calls 24/7, utilizing intuitive triage software and updated Schmitt-Thompson protocols to address all patient concerns and symptoms. We hold our nurses to the highest standards of training, and we regularly perform nurse evaluations to ensure all calls and patient interactions are handled appropriately. Record your triage calls and improve patient outcomes by partnering with us.
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 9,000 physicians and covers over 25 million lives nationwide.