TriageLogic is excited to offer a new, two-week course for triage nurse trainees. It expands on the concepts and procedures touched on briefly in its Learning Center, while incorporating elements of machine learning: a nurse triage AI training simulation that mimics live patient callers. Before explaining how this AI training works, here is a brief overview about nurse triage, and what its core benefits are within the patient-provider relationship.
What Is Nurse Triage?
When patients call practices and hospitals, they’re often greeted by nonclinical front desk staff or Answering Service Operators (ASOs) at a medical call center. Both groups provide medical message intake, where patient requests are documented and forwarded on for clinical review.
This review may be performed by telephone triage nurses, who are RNs trained to: categorize these requests as nonurgent, urgent, or emergent; call patients back in the appropriate windows of time; and use Schmitt-Thompson protocols to provide these patients with the best dispositions for care. Patients may then choose to follow nurse triage advice and seek out the appropriate care providers.
Why Is Nurse Triage Important?
TriageLogic observed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic how patient callers had a tendency to do one of two things: either they went to emergency rooms when they didn’t need to, or they avoided the ER when they should have gone. This is often because patients aren’t able to accurately gauge the severity of their symptoms, and what those symptoms could indicate about their overall health.
TriageLogic notes how patients who call triage nurses are more likely to seek the appropriate care from the appropriate providers in the appropriate windows of time. This leads to improved health outcomes, reduced medical costs, and less crowded ERs.
How Does Nurse Triage AI Training Work?
While a large portion of a triage nurse’s role involves soft skills, empathy, and a 10-step process, the fact remains that every call is inherently different. AI training provides greater diversity in its simulated exercises so that new nurses establish muscle memory for understanding patients and selecting the appropriate protocols, preparing them for when calls are real and patients’ health depends on their guidance.
Here’s how that process works.
First, trainees are given reference material to review for key nurse triage concepts. That material contains links that they can select to take them to specific test simulations, each with a unique AI test patient. Each simulation provides sample demographic information for its respective patient, as well as factors like their chief complaint, where they’re from, which practice referred them, and their date of birth. A nurse is given two minutes to prepare before the call simulator starts.
This system is designed so that beginner tests provide nurses with the format of the questions they should ask. As these nurses speak, the AI patient will listen and respond with the appropriate answer. If the AI cannot understand a nurse’s question, or a nurse deviates from the proper format, the AI’s response will encourage the nurse to repeat or ask a different question. Calls get progressively more difficult, eventually removing the 10-step process so that nurses demonstrate their abilities and aptitude for arriving at the correction dispositions.
Each call can be repeated as many times as needed, and can be customized when it comes to specific features of the AI patient, like their gender, emotional state, whether they’re a parent, and whether they have an accent. Trainees can also adjust the call to include varying degrees of background noise to help them learn how to hear callers in similar situations. Calls can be designated as coming in during normal office hours, or for after-hours care.
Each simulation offers a transcript of its exercise, as well as feedback for the nurse trainee.
The Goals for Nurse Triage AI Training
Ultimately, says TriageLogic, their training is meant to accomplish three things: unburden nurse trainers by reducing the amount of time they would otherwise spend monitoring these exercises; unburden established triage nurses, who are often the go-to resource for portraying patients in these types of practice situations; and generate trackable results on nurse performance so that trainers can quickly evaluate where trainees are thriving, and where they need improvement.
TriageLogic AI Demonstrations Are Available
Practices and hospitals that are interested in a demonstration of this AI software are encouraged to contact TriageLogic directly.
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 42 million lives nationwide.