There may be times when you’re unable to speak with a patient, but they need advice or information immediately. If you ever find yourself in this situation, you may wish to hire a nurse telephone triage to help you with those important calls. Like most answering services, they can take messages, set appointments, and give your patients general information. Unlike other answering services, a nurse telephone triage can provide your customers with answers to medical questions and ensure that your customers get the medical attention they need.
So, what exactly is a triage nurse? A triage nurse is a registered RN that has gone through additional training in order to help them gather information and assess a client’s health concerns over the phone. Triage nurses must rely upon their communication skills and knowledge of various diseases and ailments in order to be able to understand the patient’s symptoms. They generally take calls from patients that are attempting to contact a physician after hours or at a time when they are unavailable. Triage nurses are able to assess the severity of the patient’s systems, and can then either schedule an appointment for them, forward the information to the appropriate physician, or advise the patient to seek emergency medical assistance.
Triage nurses have a computer that is either programmed with triage algorithms, or gives the option of programming the algorithms manually. These algorithms provide the triage nurse with a pathway to follow as they try to investigate the patient’s complaint. These pathways are in place so that the triage nurse can accurately assess the patient’s situation without jumping to any conclusions. Depending upon the answers that are given, the triage nurse can determine how serious the patient’s complaints are. The triage nurse will ask the patient a variety of questions, and document their answers in the computer system. These answers will help to create an electronic chart which will stay in the system and can be forwarded to the patient’s physician. Should the patient call again, this electronic chart can be retrieved and the information displayed.
A nurse telephone triage can quickly become an indispensable part of your practice. If for any reason you’re unavailable, a triage nurse can assess your patient’s situation and ensure that they get the care they need. Unlike basic medical answering services, a nurse telephone triage can address specific medical questions and give your patients advice on the best course of action. Each triage nurse has extensive experience, so you know that they’ll take fantastic care of your patients.