Medical office staffs have quite a lot to do during a work day. For instance, they have to examine patients, run all sorts of tests, take and examine x-rays, fill out paperwork, and more. They must do all this for every patient. That is a lot of work, and it requires a great deal of time. Most of the workday, in fact, is devoted to patient care. However, a good deal of time is also spent on the telephone, answering questions, making appointments, taking messages, and even dealing with suppliers.
All of this time spent on the phone could be devoted to patient care, and doctors and staff of busy medical offices know this very well. They understand the value of their time and want to devote as much of it as possible to attending to the problems and issues of their patients. That’s why many of them use a nurse telephone triage system.
Using Telephone Triage
When using a nurse telephone triage system, a doctor’s office or clinic will only receive calls from patients with urgent needs. All other calls will be handled by the nurse triage system. These calls will get the best advice and attention they can from highly trained and competent operators, leaving your doctors and staff to handle only calls from people who need their services.
For example, callers who only need questions answered about bandaging small scrapes or have questions about a procedure will be handled by the service and their trained, highly qualified registered nurses, keeping the medical provider’s line free for more pressing calls such as help for a bad cut or burn. It also frees up time the doctors and staff can devote to caring for the patients they having in their waiting rooms. Doctors will be able to provide better care to more patients if they utilize a nurse triage system.
A typical call would see the telenurse assessing the disposition of the call and collecting information about the presenting problem, medical history, looking for any patterns according to protocols, and then assigning acuity. These nurses can provide for a timely disposition and get patients the right kind of care when they need it.
These nurse triage systems can help alleviate fears and reduce stress, provide education, reduce the number of inappropriate calls and appointments, and increase patient satisfaction levels. These nurses can often meet the needs of the patient and provide satisfaction without having to come in for unwarranted doctor visits.
Understanding Patient Needs
By utilizing a trained R.N. who understands a patient’s needs, calls can be diverted away from doctors and staff of clinics when their time is better served elsewhere. By eliminating non-urgent calls from the staff, doctors and nurses can better care for the patients that need them, providing the valuable care and service people need when they have to pay a visit to a medical office. Efficiency improves along with the patient care, allowing for more patients to get the healthcare they need, and improving the doctor-patient relationship.
Patients will also benefit from being able to have their needs met over the telephone instead of tying up their time making and keeping needless doctor’s appointments. In this way, only the patients who truly need to go in to the clinic or office will be instructed to do so, while non-emergency patients will be given the advice needed to help them get the type of care they need at that particular time.
Nurse telephone triage will help patients get the care they need, and doctors to provide that care in the best way they can.
Kurt Duncan is the Director of Operations of MedConnectUSA.com. MedConnectUSA is a leading medical answering service and has been serving the healthcare industry since 1991.