4 Reasons to Implement New Technology
Now Is the Time to Invest in Your Call Center’s Future
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
Long gone are the days when all you needed was a telephone and a message pad to process calls. For decades call centers have relied on technology to increase efficiency and optimize results. And never has that been truer than right now.
Consider these four reasons to invest in technology for your medical call center.
1. Save Time and Increase Efficiency: Advanced technology can offer time-saving processes that will increase the efficiency of your staff. This means they can do more work in the same time or the same work in less time. If this is the case, you can perform an analysis to calculate your payback period. This is a great approach to cost justify a technology investment.
2. Provide Additional Services: Older equipment can limit the scope of services you provide, but an upgrade may allow you to increase the scope of what you offer to your patients or callers. Again, you can calculate the payback period of your investment.
3. Go Online: Many older systems are premise based, making it difficult to have a distributed workforce or to establish remote work sessions. The present need for people to work at home may never go away, and this development has accelerated the trend toward work-at-home scenarios. Your future may depend on having this flexibility, so make the move today to prepare for tomorrow.
4. Avoid Obsolescence: A final consideration is platform age. Sometimes you take a system as far as it will let you, and then it limits the service you provide to callers. If you’re trying to operate using out-of-date technology, you may not be able to cost justify the investment by calculating the payback period or present it as a strategic move to prepare for the future. But that doesn’t remove the fact that replacing an obsolete system is an essential move if you want to be a viable resource for your organization and callers.
Conclusion: Your call center may already have the best technology available. But remember that systems are always changing, and what’s best today won’t be the best tomorrow. Most call centers, however, have a platform with at least a few areas that need improving. Now is the time to plan to make that happen.
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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What Are Triage Levels?
By Dr. Ravi Raheja
Triage levels indicate the appropriate level of care for each patient depending on the symptoms they are experiencing and their medical history. These different triage levels can include dispositions such as “call 911 now,” “go to the emergency room,” “urgent care visit,” “primary care,” “telemedicine visit within 24 to 48 hours,” or more frequently “home care.”
Determining the appropriate triage level in a quick, effective manor is critical for patient safety, peace of mind, and cost-effective care.
Patient Safety: It may be difficult for a patient who has a symptom to determine by themselves how dangerous their situation really is. A survey conducted by the American Heart Association shows that nearly one out of three adults had symptoms of a stroke but did not call for medical help. Some people tend to ignore symptoms because they are too busy or do not have easy access to a healthcare professional. But ignoring these signs and symptoms can lead to a worse outcome. In the case of a stroke, every minute is critical, and every minute lost can lead to adverse effects that may impact the patient the rest of their life.
Peace of Mind: When a patient is experiencing a symptom, they may also be worried about compounding issues such as the time of the day, other commitments, or the potential cost of care. A triage nurse will review all symptoms that the caller is experiencing, their medical history, and other concerns. The nurse will further assist the patient by creating a plan of care that is reassuring to the caller and provides an independent opinion.
Cost-Effective Care: Cost-effective care is critical due to patients who have high deductibles or who are a part of a self-funded company. Unneeded emergency room visits can run over $2,000 dollars. But on the other hand, not calling for medical help can have lifelong adverse outcomes. Determining the appropriate level of care can prevent a patient from any unnecessary costs or save their life.
Conclusion: Having a nurse triage system helps alleviate the influx of patients into the emergency room and can also be the determining factor to reach the best level of care for the patient. To properly separate a patient’s conditions into levels of severity, ask the right questions in the right order.
TriageLogic is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of top-quality nurse telehealth technology, mobile applications, and medical call center solutions, all with the purpose of encouraging positive patient behavior and improving access to healthcare. Founded in 2006, the TriageLogic Group now serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 20 million lives nationwide.
Healthcare Call Center News
AAACN to Host Virtual 2020 Conference: The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) announced a 2020 virtual conference to be live-streamed on four consecutive Tuesdays beginning July 28, followed by extended on-demand access.
- July 28, 11 am–6:15 pm ET: preconference sessions
- August 4, 12 pm–5 pm ET: opening general session on COVID-19 and infectious disease; breakouts
- August 11, 12 pm–5:30 pm ET: interactive Town Hall on COVID-19; breakouts
- August 18, 12 pm–5:30 pm ET: breakouts; closing general session on mindfulness
Attendees can earn up to thirteen continuing nursing education (CNE) contact hours for the full conference, plus the opportunity for bonus CNE.
TriageLogic Helps Set Up Remote Triage Nurses: TriageLogic helped Baptist Health set up their nurses to work from home and triage patients remotely using their MyTriageChecklist software.
After identifying Baptist’s needs, in less than two weeks, TriageLogic had Baptist up and running, with nurses ready to triage patients with an organized, effective system.
MyTriageChecklist is a HIPAA compliant telephone nurse triage software to triage and document patient phone calls. The software includes Schmitt-Thompson protocols, which include COVID-19 protocols, regularly updated as the medical community learns as the disease evolves.
Send us your healthcare call center articles and news for the next issue of Medical Call Center News.
A Thought for Today
“The power to command frequently causes failure to think.” -Barbara Tuchman