I have two articles that will be published in Contemporary Pediatrics over the next two months on triage (Call Centers, April 2017 and Office Triage May, 2017). This is a very important topic for pediatricians.
When parents call, practices should have a triage system in place to make sure that patients receive the appropriate level of care (office, emergency room, home care), and , are seen in a time frame appropriate for their medical condition (urgently, same day, within a few days).
Approximately 30% of calls received by pediatric practices are for nurse triage. It is very important that office nurses use established protocols when triaging calls, and carefully document each encounter. As most practices use EHRs – nurses needed to document within the patient’s electronic chart. As we know many of our EHRs are labor intensive, and often take longer to complete compared to a simple hand written note.
Following triage by an office nurse, 57% of patients just need home care advice, 21 % are seen the same day, 16 % are seen within 3 days, 3% are sent to the ED or urgent care, and just 0.1% told to call 911. The remainder are given other dispositions (seen in office within few weeks, call specialist, call dentist, etc.) While this office triage is sometimes time consuming, it is the best method to identify the level of care needed for the child of a concerned parent. This is not only good care, but it also reduces liability of the practice.
The ClearTriage decision support tool helps expedite the process of triaging office calls as well as documenting recommendations.
ClearTriage is very inexpensive at just $49 per month per concurrent user, and was one of my “Best Tech” selections in 2015!
When a call is transferred to your office triage nurse, ClearTriage is launched and the intake information quickly entered into the system. David Schmitt developed the support tool and demonstrates the system for Medgizmos.com providers in the video below