What Is Nurse Based After Hours Triage

IntellaTriage answers the questions: What Is Nurse based After Hours Triage for hospice and what is nurse based after hours triage for Home care?

We perform after hours triage for our hospice, after hours triage for home care  and after hours triage for physician and other healthcare clients weeknights, 24 hours on the weekend and holidays using our state of the art SSAE 16 certified, SOC II audited and PCI-DSS certified cloud based communication platform.  This allows us to provide the most reliable nurse based triage system in the market with at least 7 points of presence in the U.S. using carrier-grade data centers allowing IntellaTriage to ensure 99.999% up-time for all of our triage clients. No one else can make that claim.

Using this state of the art system, the hospice and home health experienced nurses from IntellaTriage will answer your inbound triage calls, identify your patient’s records using your EMR data, then begin to help resolve the patient concerns using compassionate, best practice care.   Only after all attempts have been made to comfort the patient and resolve any and all concerns will our hospice and home health trained nurses contact your on call nurse. When we work with you, using our over 8 years of trusted service and experience in the hospice and home care markets, we will ensure that each and every nurse assigned to your organization is using your best practice triage protocols to provide the best triage care to your patients becoming a trusted extension of your hospice or home health nursing staff.

Why is outsourcing Hospice Triage and Home Health Triage Just Now Gaining Acceptance?

Over 8 years ago, the founders of IntellaTriage recognized that there was and will continue to be a critical shortage of nurses in the United States.   CMS projects that shortage to reach critical levels for Hospice and Home Care agencies by 2024.  Incredibly most hospice and home care agencies were unaware that they could use third party services to help fill the gap without violating core service regulation, or they were simply unaware that our services existed.   So we set out with a simple purpose:  Help those in need and provide a service that can actually do some good.  Our company was founded to help hospice and home health agencies to combat 4 core challenges:

1) Fill the coverage gaps due to the nursing shortage and keep the nurses you have happy and healthy.

Simply put, it’s hard to find nurses.  Especially in competitive markets, rural locations and those with the proper hospice and home care experience you need to provide quality compassionate care.  So when you find good nurses you want to keep them.  Our triage service was designed with this in mind.  We want to provide coverage when your nurses can’t.  With limited staff it’s hard to find or encourage the nurses you have to provide additional night time or weekend coverage to triage patient calls.  With so many demands on your nurses during the day to provide the best possible care in the live setting you don’t want to burden them with nighttime phone coverage.  Let us do the heavy lifting when your nurses can’t.  What we have found over our years of experience is that when hospice and home care groups bring on our service, they use it as a nurse recruiting and nurse retention tool.  When you are hiring new nurses, wouldn’t it would be great to tell them that they don’t have to worry about nighttime or weekend phone coverage?  Our clients can tell you their nurses are happier and stay longer than prior to using our service.

2) Help reduce nurse fatigue, burnout and turnover.

Nurses work long hours in stressful, emotionally charged situations.  We know from various studies that the combination of environmental and emotional stress factors can easily and rapidly result in fatigue and burnout.   Although this can occur in any nursing profession, hospice nurses are particularly vulnerable to low job satisfaction and compassion fatigue. These factors can lead to high staff turnover and cost the hospice and home health industries millions of dollars every year in hiring, training and overtime costs. IntellaTriage reduces all of these factors and helps you keep the staff you have by eliminating the demands on your nurses and providing a better work-life balance.   We also help you achieve the right call-to-visit ratio by helping to resolve each and every patient call before contacting your on-call nursing staff as well as routing non clinical or non patient related (marketing calls, staff related calls, etc…) calls to the appropriate location, giving that much needed support during the off-hours allowing your nursing staff to rest and recoup for when you need them the most.

3) Increase patient satisfaction.

IntellaTriage knows that your patients come first.   That’s why we will never compromise our care standards to cut corners or short change your patients by automating call responses, utilizing a “cookie cutter” triage approach, using non-licensed nurses, inexperienced nurses, “home grown” outdated communication or call center technology and we will never use any automated workflow to simply push calls to voicemail or to your nurses without first talking to the patient and understanding their needs, concerns and wishes.  With our team of highly screened nurses (background, OIG and exclusion checks are always performed), IntellaTriage is able to provide you the only alternative to traditional answering services and regional triage providers that do not focus on the needs of your patients or nurses.  Because we don’t force you to adopt our triage protocols or technology we can always design an approach that fits your organization and the patients you serve.

4) Help maintain costs and improve revenue.

When a hospice or home health agency staffs their after hours triage it can be costly, unreliable and detrimental to the care provided to patients. As any hospice or home health census numbers change unexpectedly the demands on nursing staff can lead to high overtime costs, high staff turnover and general employee dissatisfaction which ultimately affects your patients. IntellaTriage has been helping hospice and home health agencies nationwide by delivering a powerful triage solution (eliminating the need for answering services) to improve triage coverage gaps, operational efficiency and improved patient satisfaction without the high cost.   But why is this important to hospice agencies and their revenue?

The Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) was established under section 1814(i)(5) of the Social Security Act. The HQRP Act requires CMS to publicly report, on a CMS website, quality measures that relate to the care provided by hospice programs across the country.  As part of the HQRP, all Medicare-certified hospices are required to submit quality data to CMS.  Providers that fail to meet HQRP requirements will receive a 2% point reduction in their APU. The HQRP is currently a “pay-for-reporting” program, meaning it is the act of submitting the required data determines a hospice compliance. But the performance level on the quality measures is not a factor in determining a hospice’s compliance and APU level.  But what does all this mean?   Simply put, a hospice is required to report their patient quality levels.  This quality data for every hospice is now publicly available for anyone to view on the Hospice Compare Index website.  Because of this reporting, it is now more critical than ever for hospices to perform at peak levels regarding every facet of care.  This is where IntellaTriage can help.  Having a team of nurses dedicated to triage can eliminate stress, fatigue and job dissatisfaction with your in-house nurses, thus helping them to be ready, alert and compassionate – all the qualities of good care.

Who should use after-hours hospice triage or home care triage services?

The majority of home health and hospice agencies use dedicated on call team of nurses who work nights and weekends to triage calls. Many times these shift specific nurses have to coordinate care on both telephone triage calls and on-call patient visits. When a nurse is forced to do both after hours triage and patient visits they can only service a small number of calls and patient visits.  So as your census grows or call volume increases the model breaks down and very quickly your nurse becomes fatigue and burned out.

If your current Average Daily Census is above 20 the dedicated night and weekends staffing model does not work and not cost effective, because a hospice or home health organization is forced to hire more staff to care for a just a fractional increase in its patient population or call volume.   In order to help hospice and home care organizations manage their triage costs they need to have a separate resource dedicated to triage and one dedicated to serving the patient but this cost is often to high for hospices with census between 25 and 1,000 patients and for home health agencies with a census between 150-3,500.  If you are a hospice or home health group that uses the same nurse resources to care for patients during the day and also answer patient calls at night and on weekends you are a perfect candidate for IntellaTriage.  We can help improve your patient care, retain the nurses you have, recruit new nurses and reduce the cost of care while helping to improve your revenue through better quality of care.


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