Garry Carneal, JD, MA
The practice of medicine is transforming rapidly in today’s complex healthcare environment. From landmark healthcare reform to mounting legal issues, the way we interact with our physicians and other caregivers is evolving. These changes can appear overwhelming for individuals who work in a physician’s office, specialty care center, hospital, or other treatment setting. Patients and their family members also can become overwhelmed as they navigate through the medical system.
At the same time, our ability to stay connected to our friends, family, business associates, and others is transforming as texting, social media and emailing, for example, give us 24/7 access. This continuous flow of communication is also raising patients’ expectations for healthcare access and care, putting pressure on providers to respond to patient needs even after the office is closed.
As a result, providers of all stripes, from small rural physician offices to large hospital systems, are implementing triage solutions such as 24/7 nurse line support and/or software applications to help consumers and patients navigate through their clinical issues even in the middle of the night.
TriageLogic is one company that provides critical connection points between provider and patient to ensure the best clinical, financial and legal outcomes. TriageLogic’s software solutions are uniquely designed to help provider practices support and respond to patient telephone calls by using evidence-based guidelines, documenting the details of each call and the follow-up recommendations, and interfacing with the provider’s electronic health records system – among other attributes. While most triage services just support and/or process calls during off-hours, TriageLogic’s Office Solution™ (now called myTriageChecklist™) also offers daytime support by helping practices triage patient calls through a user-friendly, hosted software application.
In addition to helping patients, TriageLogic’s applications also can reduce legal risk for providers. In many states, patients and their family members are expecting more evidenced-based support from their providers irrespective of the time and location of the patient. As a result, one insurance broker recently noted that “by tracking and documenting calls 24/7, TriageLogic’s systems can provide an important mechanism for providers to ‘defend’ any malpractice claims.”
TriageLogic has taken a leadership role in merging the best of nurse triage interventions with new technology applications, making supporting patients and reducing provider liability in a seamless manner highly achievable.
Garry Carneal, president & CEO of Schooner Healthcare Services, is a leading expert in the healthcare quality and legal fields. As president & CEO of URAC from 1996 to 2005, he oversaw the development of URAC’s Nurse Triage Standards, which established national accreditation standards for the industry.