Reality Check. How many calls do you triage?

  1. 0
    My part-time job employer went through some job evaluation and redesign. For 52 calls in a 7 hour period, there were three RNs. Does that sound right? After 7 hours and 28 calls, I was ready to throw in the towel. I'm curious what everyone else does. We are the after-hours triage for patients who are calling their physicians for advice, medications, problems, etc. Thanks for your info!

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  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 0
    I guess it depends on what algorithms you use and how long they are, what type of calls you take etc.

    For a full symptom assessment, checking vitals and giving advice I reckon on 10 minutes per patient, so that's 5-6 per hour, so for a 7.5 hour shift that's 40+ but I have to agree that you slow down by the end of a shift and some calls are more complicated, and some are less complicated. I think 52 calls is excessive however - how can you be safe and give the patient the advice they need doing 50+ calls?
  4. 0
    Up until 2 years ago I was doing Peds triage/advice during office hours in a multi-provider clinic. In a 10 hour shift I took between 50 and 70 calls. About 1/3 were refill requests or went straight to scheduling within a minute or 2.
  5. 0
    Quote from Audreyfay
    My part-time job employer went through some job evaluation and redesign. For 52 calls in a 7 hour period, there were three RNs. Does that sound right? After 7 hours and 28 calls, I was ready to throw in the towel. I'm curious what everyone else does. We are the after-hours triage for patients who are calling their physicians for advice, medications, problems, etc. Thanks for your info!
    we are expected to do 4 calls per hour. the more seasoned nurses can pick up the pace when we are busy and do 6 calls an hour. we have a system of nurses being an call from home(laptop) and then when we get really busy the calls go back to the docs. however we have been dumped in our busy period of 80 calls per hour during a busy time.

    in your case where i work 2 nurses should be able to keep up with that if they do 4 calls in an hour.
  6. 0
    Quote from Fonenurse
    I guess it depends on what algorithms you use and how long they are, what type of calls you take etc.

    For a full symptom assessment, checking vitals and giving advice I reckon on 10 minutes per patient, so that's 5-6 per hour, so for a 7.5 hour shift that's 40+ but I have to agree that you slow down by the end of a shift and some calls are more complicated, and some are less complicated. I think 52 calls is excessive however - how can you be safe and give the patient the advice they need doing 50+ calls?
    but isn't the 52 calls divided between 3 rns. also you can do so much over the phone about vital signs and such. my company uses intellicare its pretty quick charting.
  7. 0
    Sorry - obviously didn't read the post thoroughly enough - 52 calls divided by three is just over seventeen each - which is way less than I would expect to do on a shift! On quiet days I would do 24+ and on busy days with very short calls could take 40+ myself. We triage for after-hours patients wanting advice and care too. We also triage in-hours for patients wanting advice, dental services and also now run a long term care case management too.

    Yes, it is tiring, and challenging, but thoroughly enjoyable - esecially when they ring back in to thank you because you have really helped them... sadly it doesn't happen that often though.
  8. 0
    Quote from wincha
    in your case where i work 2 nurses should be able to keep up with that if they do 4 calls in an hour.
    wincha - what is the company that you work for? Are they out of Maryland? Just curious if you can work from home. Thanks!
  9. 0
    Quote from funnygirl_rn2
    wincha - what is the company that you work for? Are they out of Maryland? Just curious if you can work from home. Thanks!
    Not out of Maryland sorry. Its based from a hospital. I don't work at home because my children would interfere also they expect you to work more shifts and be on call more for working at home. Its evening and weekend work also. I am in the process of interviewing with companies that I can do similiar work during the day. I have no desire to work from home. I want to get out of my house and work with other people.
  10. 0
    Quote from wincha
    Not out of Maryland sorry. Its based from a hospital. I don't work at home because my children would interfere also they expect you to work more shifts and be on call more for working at home. Its evening and weekend work also. I am in the process of interviewing with companies that I can do similiar work during the day. I have no desire to work from home. I want to get out of my house and work with other people.
    Yes, I see where working at home & with those shifts wouldn't be feasible for me either. I would like a combo of both...work at home & also away from home. Modern technology will eventually get me there! Thanks for answering my questions.
  11. 0
    I work for a company where we triage after hours for about 100 doctors at about 20 different offices and are the nurse helpline for about 15 insurance companies around the country. We usually do about four calls/hour. The problems we face are getting or confirming sometimes an extensive health history each time, getting demographic info, and many contract defined fields that are required by our clients. Also, we try to find places for these folks to go when their offices are closed that will take their insurance. Can be very complex depending on the call.


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