Networking request--Need help!!

  1. The last thread has triggered me to ask this question of all of you. It comes at a good time for me as my center is again looking at how fast we should be answering our calls and I bet this info is useful to the rest of you .
    So I'm going to ask some general networking questions:
    What are your call-answer standards? How fast do you have to answer your calls? (within 1 minute, within 6 rings, call answered by a receptionist within 60 sec and returned by a nurse within 15 minutes, etc, etc,

    How manynurses do you have working on the phones?

    Where do you do your telephone triage? (insurance co., clinic, hospital-marketing, etc)

    What do you use as your guidelines(Centramax, in-house developed guidelines etc.)

    Do any of you use nonprofessional people as "front line" to weed out RX refills, directions etc? and if so,are they trained to recognize emergencies
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Shotzie
    I guess if i am going to post the questions I should also share my answers.

    Our standard is all calls answered in 1 minute--not that we have EVER acheived that standard!

    Number of nurses varies depending on call volume. with as many as 11 on weekend mornings to 7 during weekday evenings and 2 to 3 overnight. All triage nurses are RNs as is the BON standard in my state.

    We work for a BIG clinic

    We use Centramax

    Only nurses take our calls - but a couple of other sites in town use answering services or receptionists answering calls. It makes me nervous to think of a nonprof. trying to initially weed out our calls...sometimes back pain is a strained muscle and sometimes back pain is an extending MI!
  4. by   Shed13911
    We have about 6-7 nurses in the evenings, and 1 at night during the week, 2 at night during the weekends.

    I work for a pediatric call center associated/funded by a lg childrens hospital in Tx.

    We use Centaraus(sp) guidelines and some set up by/approved by pedi doctors.

    We have a secretary at times when we are lucky. They are taught to catch key words that signal a nurse needs to take the call right now. Also, we listen for her when she takes calls and have her transfer the call to an available nurse when we hear of a more serious complaint. She/he is able to screen alot of the calls that we can't do with either giving them info/send them to the pcp line/give general info so that the nurses can take the more appropriate calls. The system works pretty well because we all sit close together so that we can kind of hear when someone needs more urgent care.

    Hope that answers your questions!
  5. by   movealong
    The number of nurses on the phones depends on the time of day and whether it is a weekend or weekday. The stats are always being looked at in terms of call volumes, and they staff accordingly. Weekdays usuallly see 10-15 nurses, weekday evening closer to 20. Weekends? I'm not sure i have ever counted but at least 25-30, if not more. We have oncall nurses and once we get x amount of time behind in calls, the oncall nurses are told to get on.

    Each client has a contract and in the contract it will say how quick our answering time will be....

    At my previous job we used Centaraus, so I am familiar with that. At my present job, we use quidelines that have been approved of course, by each client. I believe they were internally developed.
    Last edit by movealong on Mar 6, '04
  6. by   Tinman10
    Quote from movealong
    The number of nurses on the phones depends on the time of day and whether it is a weekend or weekday. The stats are always being looked at in terms of call volumes, and they staff accordingly. Weekdays usuallly see 10-15 nurses, weekday evening closer to 20. Weekends? I'm not sure i have ever counted but at least 25-30, if not more. We have oncall nurses and once we get x amount of time behind in calls, the oncall nurses are told to get on.

    Each client has a contract and in the contract it will say how quick our answering time will be....

    At my previous job we used Centaraus, so I am familiar with that. At my present job, we use quidelines that have been approved of course, by each client. I believe they were internally developed.

    Hi,
    Do you have URAC accreditation? The requirements are that there must be a 5% or< Abandoned Call Rate, and 95% of calls must be answered within 60 seconds.

    Thanks,
    Tinman10
  7. by   movealong
    Yes, we have URAC accreditation.

    I think the total number of nurses ( including quite a few per diems) working for this company is around 120.
  8. by   Tinman10
    Quote from movealong
    Yes, we have URAC accreditation.

    I think the total number of nurses ( including quite a few per diems) working for this company is around 120.
    Did you apply for accreditation under URAC Version 2.0, or the newer one Version 3.0? It is my understanding that the Call Center MUST meet a 5%or less abandoned call rate, and answer 95% of calls within one minute. Do you meet this standard? Do you know how many calls your Call Center gets a month? Do you have a productivity level of so many calls per day? How long are you averaging per call, and how do you document your notes?
    THANK YOU!
    TINMAN10
  9. by   movealong
    Yikes, lots of questions, and I don't know the answers to everything. I've been with them for about 11 months....


    Not sure how many calls we get a month. I am sure winter months have lots more calls coming in, and this last flu season was crazy. I'm a staff nurse and don't have access to all the stats.

    I work from home after the training period was completed and my call handling times averaged 10 minutes or less. That's pretty much the standard, to keep calls to 10 minutes or less. I avergae about 9 minutes. With giving home care advice, what sx to watch for, doing a medical history with every call, I can't seem to go alot faster than that. And I'm fine with it. Calls handled per day can vary on volume. I think 5 calls an hour per nurse is what they want to see.

    Documentation is done online(of course). with a program developed by our company. It's a quicker system than what I was used to in a previous job.

    But we use guidelines from Dr. Thompson and MICROMEDEX and Barton Schmitt Pediatric Triage Advice System.
    Last edit by movealong on Apr 14, '04
  10. by   Tinman10
    THANK YOU! Every thing I can learn will help. I appreciate the time you've spent answering me.
  11. by   Su360
    We use MSR's (Medical Service Representatives)have had their EMD training to answer the phones and put the demographic info in...Our program is Intelliview and in the past we used Centramax. We really like Intelliview.
    We have 10 hr, shifts for the Nurses. We are in the 911 call center and as far as i know are the only Nurse Triage Call Center like this. We are in Michigan.We take calls for a city west of us and calls after hours for the
    Dr's from the Hospital there.......We are also connected to Intellicare which is throughout the US and use them exclusively for our calls from 2am to 6am..




    Quote from Shotzie
    The last thread has triggered me to ask this question of all of you. It comes at a good time for me as my center is again looking at how fast we should be answering our calls and I bet this info is useful to the rest of you .
    So I'm going to ask some general networking questions:
    What are your call-answer standards? How fast do you have to answer your calls? (within 1 minute, within 6 rings, call answered by a receptionist within 60 sec and returned by a nurse within 15 minutes, etc, etc,

    How manynurses do you have working on the phones?

    Where do you do your telephone triage? (insurance co., clinic, hospital-marketing, etc)

    What do you use as your guidelines(Centramax, in-house developed guidelines etc.)

    Do any of you use nonprofessional people as "front line" to weed out RX refills, directions etc? and if so,are they trained to recognize emergencies

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