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- by Jana Stephens Oct 20, '03Does anybody out there know of any national companies that offer home-based telephone triage positions? I am well-experienced in phone triage but recently moved to an area with no triage jobs. I have one lead--Intellicare in Dallas TX. Does anybody know of any others? Thanks
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- Jan 7, '04 by Cowboy FanBe careful with that Dallas job. That is a awful place to work from the grapevine. It has been sold and renamed many times over the years and very few people stay there long. The lady who does the hiring (C.W.) is nice at first and turns on you in a flash. Keep looking, I have heard nice things about the Parkland Call center but I do not know much about it.
- Jan 7, '04 by FrancoisWell, I have heard very positive things about IntelliCare. One is that they are at the leading-edge of the industry. And my understanding is that they purchased a poorly run call center in Dallas and have really turned it around.
So, now you at least have two opinions. Good luck!:roll
- Mar 6, '04 by movealongI work for that company, but only for the last 9 months. Prior to that I did telephone triage for 5 years with another company. So I can kind of compare. i'll try to give you my honest opinions, the good and bad.
Intellicare is growing by leaps and bounds. They do buy out other triage centers, so I'm not sure if that's where the bad rep might have come from. They also land several new accounts every month. I can't quote exactly, but they have over 50 accounts. The good news is that makes them a very solid company to work for, no fears about it going out of business. The bad news is that's alot of accounts/clients to learn. Clients are private doctor offices, insurance companies, one section of the DOD.
They do allow you to work from home, in fact 75% of the nurses working for them do. I do. I love it. And if you move, you can take the job with you. That's huge bonus for me, as I plan to relocate this summer and worries about finding a job across the country are gone. If you are full time, they furnish your computer and give you an allowance to pay for your internet connection, which must be high speed. I had a second phone line installed and got an allowance towards that as well.
They record all calls, which most major triage centers should do. We have approved guidelines and a system for charting. There's not alot of free text charting, which makes it faster. My last job was almost all free text charting, which is slower and less exact. We also have approved sites and texts for referrence. And an researcher to get any info to answer questions we cannot find easily.
You are expected to take so many calls an hour, and handle the calls in a certain time frame. In fact, you must get the time of an average call down to 10 minutes, which I did find hard to do. Call times must be at 10 minutes average before you can "go remote" and work from home. It's very busy, calls are almost always lined up. So if you don't want to work hard, this is not for you.
After working for them for 1 year, they will compensate you the cost of taking the national triage exams, which I plan to do. They encourage their nurses to do this, which I thinks bodes well.
The down side? Because one works from home, they expect you to be pretty darn flexible with your hours. This has been a problem at times. I hired on as a evening nurse hoping to get days..which I did after 3 months or so. But every once in awhile, they still schedule me for late evenings and I find that hard. But they allow nurses to trade hours pretty freely. That aspect has improved since I've been there, but still could be better. They need to appreciate the fact that a schedule is very important to many nurses. I don't think they have yet to realize just how important this aspect is. My schedule really sucks sometimes, working till midnight and then back on again at 7am. Keep in mind I don't take a 30 minute break, so the chances for eating are pretty slim for those 2 days. I'm still going round on this issue. They say they won't schedule you with shifts any closer than 12 hours, but the same day I was told this, they scheduled me for shifts 7 hours apart. I'm still upset.
They do have a high turnover, and say they are working on it. Lots of nurses have this as their second job, as a way of making extra money. Working from home makes it an ideal second job. However, I am there full time, and it's my only job. I think some nurses leave because once they don't need a second job, they leave. Sometimes, I think schedules have been an issue. It still is a problem for me sometimes, but I have seen an improvement. 30 minue lunch breaks are optional. If you take one, there are not paid for. Most don't take them. Of course we do get 15 minute breaks as per law.
Once working from home, I do 4 9hours shifts a week. I am expected to be oncall the other 4 hours a week ( for a total of 40 hours/weekly) as part of the "privilege" of working from home. You don't get paid for oncall hours unless they are worked. I also think they expect alot in return for the 'privilege" of working from home. Sometimes too much, IMHO. I'd like to see this improve.
I took a cut in pay to take this job. I figure the loss in salary was offset by the money I saved in gas, wear and tear on my car, my commute time ( which was 45 minutes each way in rush hour), no new clothing ( I had to dress in business attire for previous job)....and like I said, I was wanting to work from home, and wanted to relocate. The fact I can take this job with me will allow me to move to a small town/city in Az without having go back to a hospital. A big plus in my book.
I had telephone triage experince prior to this, as well as disease management, and lots of years as a nurse on the floors. Intellicare is hard work, you're busy and sometimes the upper management can be a bear and not easy to deal with. But my immediate teamleader is great. It's hard to learn the rules for different accounts. For some accounts we page their oncall docs, some we don't. Some we book appointments for, some we don't. For some we send out educational materials, some we don't. It can be daunting.
I hope this helps. I can say I love working from home. I save 1.5 hours daily by not driving, my car will last a lot longer, no worries about driving in bad weather, I use very little gas now. I work in sweats and fuzzy slippers in the winter!Last edit by movealong on Mar 19, '04
- Mar 7, '04 by renerianI looked at the website. May I ask what you do inside the teley work?
- I'm just one of the staff telephone triage nurses. We do triage using guidelines to help a caller select the best option for care, giev them home care advice and what s/s to watch for that would let them know they need to call us back and health information calls basically. Of course we also get people calling us by mistake for benefit questions, which we refer back to member services. Usually each account provides us with a list of phone numbers for their services, so we can point the callers in the right direction.
Some accounts we have triage to the appropriate level of care, say see your doctor in the next 24 hours, we can then book those appointments. For most accounts, we simply triage to the level of care needed. They are responsible for calling and making their appointments.
Some callers have questions about their medications, or maybe have been diagnosed with a particular disease and they are looking for more information on it. We can provide that info..up to a point. I steer clear of prognosis, though callers will try to get you to commit to one. Same for diagnosing. I don't diagnose, none of us do.
This just covers the very basics. Is this what you wanted to know? I'm not a recruiter or management person. And I've only been with them 9 months..... But I did telephone triage for 5 years prior to this job, and that's a pretty good length of time in this field. I started this line of work after working in hospitals and clinics for years. I was gettiing older and wanted to get off the floors...........
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have.
Hope this helps.
edited to add that I think they want you to have some type of triage experience and at least be somewhat famailiar with computers.
And I should add, have I given any info out that would make my bosses upset?Last edit by movealong on Mar 7, '04
- Mar 7, '04 by renerianThanks for the information. What type of experience do you need to work there? Do people work all over the US for this company? Can I ask how they make money?
- Quote from renerianTo tell you the truth, I'm not sure how much experience they ask for, or what the mininum is. I knew I was qualified, so I didn't worry about it. I do think they want a nurse to have some kind of experience with triage, whether it be in a doctor's office, call center or other setting. And knowing computers is helpful. I think one nurse who didn't have triage experience struggled because it is fast paced. The guidelines are online and charting is done online.Thanks for the information. What type of experience do you need to work there? Do people work all over the US for this company? Can I ask how they make money?
I really do not know if they hire from all over the US. I know they have nurses working in states where there are no formal call centers. And I have been told when I move, my job can come with me. I doubled checked that, because that was part of my reason for taking a position with them.
I know they will probably be hiring again in the near future. Maybe shoot them an email? Or keep checking the website for RN positions. Good Luck.
As for making money, I don't know the details. I assume it's the same as any other call center: it's by providing a service that will end up saving them( the doctor's offices, insurance companies, or hospitals) money over the long run and by increasing member satisfaction. The number of people who think the health problem they are having requires an ER visit for nonemergies is amazing. It also saves money by getting someone to the ER in time thereby possibly preventing a more catastropic outcome: read stroke victims, heart attack victims and the like. And I have spoken to people who say having access to a nurse 24/7 via a helpline was a deciding factor in why they choose their insurance.
A company can base savings by showing the caller's intended action ie: going to the ER vs calling a triage nurse and being told this problem is safe to wait till the morning and being seen in a clinic or doctor's office setting the next day. There is a dollar amount assigned to each outcome. This stuff is all calculated and reports are given to clients. This is usually part of a signed contract with a client, that these reports are provided on say, a quarterly basis. They also do patient satisfaction surveys.
sorry for any typos.Last edit by movealong on Mar 7, '04
- Mar 7, '04 by nurseaboveboardInteresting subject. Can you give us a salary range for rn's without actually telling us what you're making, unless you want to share? Thanks a Bunch.
- Well, I took a paycut to work from home. I think the pay would depend on where you are located in the country and on one's experience.
At my last job I made 50,000 a year, and that was with some overtime. My current job is less.
I would quess in most areas it's less than hospital based nurses, maybe on par with clinic nurses?