4 Minute Read

The Truths About Nurse Triage

Share this

Nurse Triage

Nurse Triage

Telephone triage has been around for over 50 years, but it has never been more critical to providing quality care and outcomes as it is today. Today, just about every healthcare organization in the country is dedicated to providing the best care possible when the patient needs it.  Having a dedicated RN caring for patients remotely is the key to completing the comprehensive care patients need in today’s environment.  If your healthcare organization has been researching a more nurse centric medical call center model, instead of the traditional, low value answering service, here are a few critical truths about nurse triage based patient engagement centers that should be considered when performing your evaluation.

Remote Licensed, Nurse-Based Triage Is Safe

Licensed Nurse Triage has developed it practice and Standards of Care from the American Association of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN). Nurse triage can only be performed by specially trained, licensed, registered nurses with an average of 5 to 10 years of experience in across various specialties including hospice, primary practice, home care, pediatrics, behavioral health and others.  Licensed nurse triage is guided by evidence-based clinical guidelines which are physician developed and approved. When implementing licensed based nurse triage, there are several options when selecting the best options for your patients, but the common factor is that they use triage protocol guidelines and not just algorithms. Experienced registered nurses understand the need to apply their own experience and critical thinking skills developed over years of care-taking when engaging patients remotely. The ability to observe in person are not available with remote based care, so expertise in listening and compassionate communication is critical. Quality Assurance monitoring of nurse triage encounters proves that in 97% of the patient encounters, nurse triage recommends patients to the safest and best level of care.

Nurse Triage Contributes To Optimal Outcomes

The Institute for Healthcare Reform (IHI) identifies the dimensions of Triple AIM as setting the bar for all healthcare providers to improve patient quality, satisfaction and experience.  Using this standard can also improve the health of entire populations under care while reducing the per capita cost of health care. Triage Nurses are caregivers at heart, who can significantly contribute to the realization of this goal. Because, nurse based, after-hours triage care for patients is done on a personal interaction level, it is foundational to healthcare organizations that each interaction is cost effective and generally seamless to the healthcare provider and its patients. In order to achieve improved outcomes for your patients it’s critical that they have access to licensed nurses after hours and weekends.

Patient Experience Is Integral To Optimal Outcomes

Any healthcare organization committed to providing an exceptional patient experience is most likely providing their patients with access to 24/7 nurse triage services today. Various market studies indicate today’s patient population wants what they want when they want it–including quality clinical care. Until now, the only option to receive quality care was to go to the ER, urgent care or directly to their physician. That is no longer the case for healthcare organizations that provide their patients with the option to connect directly to a triage nurse at any time. Licensed triage nurses conduct assessments of patients’ current health issues by accessing EMR records and guide the patients as to what they need to do to for optimal care and provide a timeline for extended care post triage interactions. In most cases, the nurse triage encounter with the patients can avoid unnecessary trips to the ED. In every case patients and family members will never have the need to leave their homes, or drive to remote network facilities or wait in an ER waiting room for hours waiting to be seen.  Nurse Triage can and will definitely improve your patients’ experiences while providing optimal outcomes.

Executive Leadership Has To Consider Investing In A Licensed, Nurse-Based Medical Call Center Committed To Continuous Clinical Care

The ROI valuations are impressive and varied–depending on the specific use case, but there is undeniable facts that a triage model that pays a (triage based) Medical Call Center Service an with the expectation of handling all triage calls is more cost effective when compared to other options available. The initial investment in a nurse-based triage medical call center can be perceived as costly, due to implementation and time to get started. However, one way to dilute the initial expense is to consider partnering with an outsourced medical call center company that can seamlessly provide telephone and mobile based nurse triage to your patients.   Many healthcare organizations have already made great strides in taking advantage of outsourced providers like IntellaTriage, realizing the benefits of a nurse triage model with no capital expenditures. It is clear that Nurse Based Triage should be seen as an investment, and not an expense.

Nurse Based Triage Provides Relief To The Affordable Care Act 

As mentioned above, the role nurse triage plays in achieving success as measured by the Triple Aim by offering 24/7 nursing triage care is critical.  Additionally, 24/7 nurse triage service can be provided to ensure patients are not at risk of escalating to a higher level of acuity simply because their provider’s office was closed or the provider’s nurses weren’t readily available. Nurse Triage services provide access to licensed nurses and comprehensive triage care when providers can’t. This new model ensures an integrated patient engagement approach leads to better care, more referrals and happier patients. Nurse Triage services helps organizations better utilize scarce resources and the increased demand for primary care providers including physicians, nurses and home care givers. This new patient engagement model demonstrate the positive impacts a nurse based triage service can make on your organization and to best serve the needs of your patients and ensure your healthcare organization maintains its competitive edge.  To this end your clinical and executive leadership must view Licensed Nurse Triage medical call centers as a necessity and not a fad.

If you are uncertain of how to begin your evaluation of instituting a Licensed Nurse Based Triage Medical Call Center model, contact us today to start a conversation.

Subscribe to our blog