Update Your Employee Handbook or Department Manual
Make Sure Your Policies and Procedures Accurately Reflect Remote Work
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
In the past year, many healthcare call centers scrambled to adjust to ever-changing expectations and requirements to keep employees safe while continuing to work. Some call centers already had viable work-at-home protocols in place and a few were already 100 percent remote. Most phone centers, however, needed to accomplish a quick pivot to make working from home a viable reality.
By now, call centers have worked the technological and logistical bugs out of remotely answering phone calls from the security of a home office. Now is an ideal time to make sure your documentation matches reality and fully addresses the ramifications of people taking medical calls from home. Make sure your employee handbook, department manual, or written policies and procedures fully address staff who work remotely.
Though some managers have already brought employees back to the call center and others look toward doing it soon, this doesn’t mean they’re exempt from updating these critical documents. Why is that?
We may again find ourselves in a situation to repeat working from home. In addition, even if working from a centralized location reemerges as a standard call center operating procedure, some employees will request to continue answering calls remotely. Make sure you have everything in place to allow them to remain in their home office. If you’re unwilling to accommodate their request, you could find them leaving your organization to join one that will.
Notably, having now experienced it, some call centers have embraced remote work as a preferable operational model. They’ve sent their employees home for good. Now they only need to make sure their internal documentation aligns with this new reality.
If you’ve experienced staff working from home, you already know what you must cover in your documentation. This will get you started. Next, check with an attorney to address legal concerns. Also consider contacting a consultant who is familiar with off-site employees working out of home-based offices.
With these documents in place, you’ll find yourself ready to deal with whatever happens next.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is the publisher and editor of Medical Call Center News and AnswerStat. Read more of his articles at PeterDeHaanPublishing.com.
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In 2005, board-certified pediatrician Ravi K. Raheja, MD and Charu Raheja, Ph.D., saw a need for accurate, reliable, cost-effective triage services in both hospital and private practice settings. After extensive research and investment in the development of proprietary triage software technology, they founded TriageLogic.TriageLogic is not just an IT company that sells healthcare software. TriageLogic is a healthcare company that creates leading-edge telephone medicine technology based on practical experience and a thorough understanding of the field. Whether a busy private practice in need of a phone triage system or a hospital seeking complete after-hours call center solutions, TriageLogic has a product to meet your needs.
Telephone Triage Is More Important Than Ever
By Dr. Ravi Raheja
During the last few months, we’ve seen tremendous changes in the healthcare industry. With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to overwhelm practices and hospitals nationwide, healthcare workers have learned some lessons that we will carry forward. One of those lessons is the importance of effective triage.
Nurse triage has allowed hospitals and even municipalities to organize their COVID response. As the COVID pandemic rapidly evolved, patients were understandably anxious, needing to reach out for guidance and reassurance. At the same time, offices closed and could not see patients as usual.
Nurse triage allowed nurses to screen people remotely using standardized protocols and determine the appropriate level of care, providing reassurance. Identifying who needs urgent care first allows doctors to allocate precious resources and time efficiently.
Using nurse triage protocols in conjunction with doctor e-visits improves coordination of care and allows doctors to safely delegate responsibility to their nurses. Triage software has recommendations for nurses to transfer to doctor telehealth visits when applicable. This enables the nurses to text or email custom information sheets to patients when scheduling their e-visit, keeping patients informed about the process and how to connect with their doctor.
Using remote nurse triage allows contagious individuals to be screened and keep staff healthy. One of the biggest benefits to using protocols remotely is that it keeps hospitals from being overcrowded with less seriously ill patients.
Protocols have always been important for doctor practices and hospital systems for quality of care and legality. Now, we see their importance magnified. Our current circumstances show that protocols are a vital key in organizing, planning, and responding to major health events.
Dr. Ravi Raheja is the medical director at TriageLogic, a leader in telehealth technology and services. If you have questions on how to implement telephone nurse triage, contact TriageLogic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthcare Call Center News
Pulsar360 Receives IP Telephony Award: Pulsar360 Corporation recently received the Internet Telephony “Product of the Year Award” for 2020. This award recognizes the most innovative and highest quality IP communications brought to market in the past year.
“We are extremely honored and excited to be recognized four years in a row by Internet Telephony, previously for our PBX Hosting and Premise-Based PBX solution in 2017 and 2018; in 2019 for our Enterprise Hosted & Premised Based Solution; and now, in 2020, for our Advanced VoIP & Telecom Solutions. At Pulsar360 Corporation we are constantly innovating and improving our products to meet the demands of our clients and partners. We take great care to ensure that our customers have the very best products,” said Bob Harrison, chief channel officer at Pulsar360 Corporation.
“In the opinion of our distinguished judges, Pulsar360 Corporation’s Advanced VoIP & Telecom Solutions have proven to be among the best IP communications solutions available on the market,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC.
Pulsar360 provides SIP trunking and disaster recovery solutions for medical answering services. Pulsar360, Corp. has served the medical call center industry since 2008.
Send us your healthcare call center articles and news for the next issue of Medical Call Center News.
A Thought for Today
“How simple life becomes when things like mirrors are forgotten.” -Daphne du Maurier