Telephone triage is a special type of telemedicine offered by many call centers. The goal of this type of service is to help patients in need of medical care who are unable to see a doctor or nurse in person for any reason. After speaking with the individual, the nurse then provides qualified recommendations on the best option for treating whatever the patient’s issue is. This could include specific methods for treating the issue at home, advising the patient to visit a doctor, or seeking treatment at an ER. As a part of this process, the call center nurse performs these three important tasks.
1. Gather General Patient Information
The first step that a telephone triage nurse performs is to note down all of the patient’s basic information such as their height, weight, age, and gender. The nurse will also ask a number of questions about the patient’s medical history to get a better idea of their overall health and any medical conditions they may have. Finally, the nurse will move on to specific details about the issue the person is experiencing at that time and whatever symptoms they may have.
2. Assess the Condition of the Patient
The goal of the first step is to get a full overview of the patient’s current condition to enable the nurse to accurately recommend the correct level of care to the patient. With all of the relevant information in hand, a call center nurse should be able to quickly determine what the problem is, how serious it is, and what appropriate actions the patient should take.
3. Recommend the Best Course of Action
The final step in the process is for the nurse to provide their treatment recommendations. For less serious issues like cold symptoms or minor cuts and burns, the nurse may simply advise on immediate steps that can be taken to treat the injury or alleviate the symptoms. Depending on the specific issue, the nurse may also recommend that the patient make an appointment to see their doctor, either immediately or in a few days if the symptoms don’t improve. For more serious issues such as if the patient is bleeding heavily or in severe pain, the nurse will direct the person to seek immediate medical attention.
One other service the nurse can provide is to inform the patient where they can get the treatment they need. For instance, the nurse will be able to provide information on where the closest emergency medical facility is. Similarly, if the person doesn’t have a primary physician, the nurse can point them to medical providers in their area. Many of these call center services can also provide other useful information to patients such as informing them about free clinics or social programs that may be able to help them cover the cost of their treatment.
Answer Carolina offers a range of call center services for healthcare professionals and other organizations including HIPAA-compliant telephone nurse triage services and physician answering services. These can be a huge asset to any medical facility, as they can reduce the patient load by enabling individuals to quickly determine whether they need to seek treatment.