Call Forwarding After Hours
May 26, 2021
Your practice is focused on providing the highest quality care to your patients. You see them in your office during the day, perhaps following up with phone calls, and possibly even providing telehealth options to keep patients safe and healthy. When your practice closes for the day, your patients still need to be able to count on you for the care they need. While you may be considering call forwarding after hours, there is a better alternative for your staff and your patients.
Disadvantages of Call Forwarding
To be effective for your patients’ health and well-being, a call forwarding service or a medical answering service requires you or one of your staff to be available for after-hours calls. With a smaller practice, this can be taxing on the clinical staff. You’ve already worked a full day but then have to be available for calls after hours that could be handled by a qualified nurse triage service.
In addition, with a call forwarding or answering service, your patients have to wait to be transferred or to get a call back. The delay can not only potentially affect your patients’ health and well-being, but also their level of satisfaction with the care they are receiving from your practice.
Advantages of a Triage Solution
Communication is critically important for your patients. They need the right information at the right time. When they call your practice after hours, they need to speak with a qualified healthcare professional and not someone taking messages for a return call. A triage solution that provides licensed, registered nurses enables your patients to connect with someone immediately who can give them the advice they need after hours.
A telephone triage system can improve your practice’s communications with your patients as well as the quality of service you are able to provide your patients after your office has closed for the day. The continuity of care your patients will enjoy increases their satisfaction with your practice, as they know they will have someone to talk to right away when they call your office for help.
A qualified triage solution will also reduce the number of emergency room or urgent care visits your patients might otherwise turn to as an alternative to waiting for a call back. Studies have shown that as many as 25% of primary care office visits and 55% of emergency room visits are unnecessary and those visits after hours can be significantly reduced with the appropriate triage.
Quality of Life Improvements for Your Practice
Your patients will benefit greatly from the triage alternative to a call forwarding or answering service. You and your clinic staff will also see improvements in your quality of life after hours, particularly as you will experience fewer interruptions after you have gone home after a long day at the office.
You can also be reassured that your patients are continuing to receive quality medical care without having to contract additional overnight nurses. A highly qualified telephone triage solution gives your patients immediate access to a healthcare professional, a registered nurse who is skilled at finding the underlying cause of a caller’s complaint. The triage nurse essentially replicates your thinking when determining which level of care is most appropriate for your patients.
Triage Nurse vs Call Taker
It’s been found that nurses on triage duty after hours are more consistently prepared to answer the calls that typically come in after the medical practice has closed. The nurse will be both proactive and reactive in getting all the relevant details of the patient’s complaint. The registered nurse answering the phone is qualified to provide guidance on self-care and follow-up care, including whether a visit to your office may be necessary the next day.
IntellaTriage is Here for Your Patients After Hours
At IntellaTriage, our registered nurses triage every call according to Schmitt-Thompson protocols, which are the gold standard in telephone triage. We have more than a decade of experience providing nurse triage calls and our focus continues to be on providing the highest level of care for clients, no matter the time of day.
Our phone triage nurses, all Registered Nurses, provide sound medical advice for patients concerned about a healthcare issue and we integrate with our providers’ systems to ensure consistent care for those patients. Contact IntellaTriage today for more information about our essential phone triage services.