Nurse Advice Line for Health Plans
May 13, 2021
Your focus, as a health plan provider, is on the well-being of your patients and on your own financial stability. A nurse advice line for health plans such as yours can improve the quality of care you provide to your patients as well as the efficiency of your workflow.
Reduce Unnecessary Visits
Patients may go to the emergency room for a non-emergency medical situation because they just don’t know what else to do. When they have a nurse advice line to call, however, they can get the advice and care they need in the most appropriate manner, resulting in improved outcomes for them and for you.
An on-call triage nurse can accurately assess the patient’s condition and direct them to the level of care they truly need. The process results in a reduction of unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital readmissions. A triage nurse available for patient advice can also identify cases for referral while providing patient support that will lower medical costs, manage risk, and improve your profit margins.
Health plans that offer nurse advice lines are also able to reduce in-person visits to primary care offices and urgent care centers. When the patient has immediate access to advice and care, it improves their experience both in terms of their well-being as well as their satisfaction with the experience.
A phone line staffed by registered nurses (RNs) 24 hours a day can assist your health plan members with questions they may have about a health condition they are experiencing, helping them to avoid unnecessary trips to an emergency room or the provider’s office. This immediate, on-demand access to healthcare information can be critical in providing a diagnosis and treatment suggestions for non-urgent health issues.
Nurse advice lines can also include a separate number that is compatible with devices for the deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as a number for patients who speak Spanish or another language. These alternatives can significantly reduce the barriers often faced by individuals who need healthcare after hours or who are unsure as to how to manage symptoms that may arise outside of their physician’s office.
Advice and Education
Often, patients are looking for answers to questions they have about a symptom they or a loved one may be experiencing. When these symptoms occur after hours, they can be tempted to rush to an emergency room or an urgent care facility, when the condition itself may not be a medical emergency.
Nurse advice lines offered by health plans give members the opportunity to call any time they are experiencing a medical problem or simply have general health questions. The RN can accurately and efficiently provide the patient the information they need. This information might include education about the condition and about how the patient can manage the symptoms at home, without needing a provider visit.
When the patient is better educated in this manner, they are more likely to become actively involved in their own healthcare. They will become more confident in understanding their symptoms as they have professionally guided instructions as to how to manage them.
The RN can also direct a patient who is truly experiencing a medical emergency as to the steps that they must take to ensure their safety and well-being. For example, a patient calling with chest pains will be advised to call 911 or to go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Nurse advice lines have been shown to provide benefits for patients as well as for health plans as they provide diagnoses, education, and treatment for members’ health conditions. Benefits include cost savings, quicker access to appropriate care, improved patient outcomes, and an increased level of patient satisfaction.
Specific examples of these proven benefits include:
- A nurse advice line designed for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reduced hospital visits while providing appropriate and safe care guidance to patients.
- A nurse triage line in the rural area of a southwestern state was able to redirect a significant number of patients away from unnecessary emergency room and urgent care visits to less costly options, such as their primary care physician’s office.
- A study of 20,000 calls to a nurse triage line involving symptoms that suggested the potential for appendicitis found that these patients received care much more quickly than had they not called the advice line, reducing the morbidity associated with the condition.
IntellaTriage Provides Quality Nurse Triage for Health Plans
At IntellaTriage, our registered nurses provide the triage services your health plan needs to increase your service offerings, improve patient outcomes, and increase member satisfaction. Our nurse advice line is structured to triage every call according to Schmitt-Thompson protocols, which are the gold standard in telephone triage.
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 for your health plan.