What exactly is telephone triage?

  1. 0
    What exactly is telephone triage?

    In the ER where I work, we can not legally give out medical advice or information over the phone (answering questions, etc.) How does telephone triage get past this? Thanks in advance!!

    CrazyPremed
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  4. 22 Comments so far...

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    telephone triage harkens back to the day when a physician's office rn gave advice over the phone to patients after listening to patient describe health concern/worry/problem: did they need immediate appointment, give out general info on how to treat a fever/cut finger/diarrhea etc or schedule future appointment/call in medication refill, etc.
    (i fondly remember my pcp's nurse alice filling this role in 1950 and 60's)

    with the advent of hmo's in the 80's and large numbers of patients in physician's practices a "gatekeeper" role was established re who /when services could be provided, "authorization" for services/er visit/ hospital admission after hours developed with nurses perfect for filling role due to listening skills and nursing education.

    larger health systems got into the act in 1990's re having telephone advice lines where nurses could also schedule patients with specialists...thereby avoiding people going to "the competition". physician practices also went to nursing triage phone lines for after hours call, therefore allowing on-call doc to not be pestered with minor patient calls as hard to work 12-14 hrs then be woken up by answering service multiple times during the night.

    software programs were developed that asked range of questions for common illness and depending on callers answers indicate action to be taken. specific protocols are reviewed and signed off on by hmo's or physician groups on how they want conditions treated, when to send patient to er, when to contact pcp. written documentation of call and advice given is kept, most often sent to pcp in automated report q am.

    detailed info here:
    telehealth: issues for nursing

    ce telephone triage / nursing ceu

    dialed in: nurses prepare for the future of telephone triage
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 1, '06
    FoundShell likes this.
  6. 0
    Thanks a lot fo the references, articles, CEU site. Very helpful.
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    hey can you do this full time at home for a company?
    Olivia
  8. 1
    OliviaRN, I do this overnights from home. I work for a small company in MA that has both a call center and nurses at home. If you Google Telephone Triage there are some other companies that are elsewere in the nation that run systems that alow you to work from home. Many hospitals have call centers as well, I love it personaly I miss direct patient care but I am disabled now and this lets me keep working as a pedi nurse
    FoundShell likes this.
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    HI what company do you work for, I want to get to started doing this...do you know any contacts on how to get started?
    Thank you
    Olivia Jenkins
    Last edit by sirI on Jan 10, '07 : Reason: edit personal information
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    I also work from home and work full time evenings. I began telephone triage about 7 years ago, and came into it after many years of varied nursing experience and about 5 years of hospice after hours triage experience. Telehealth nursing has come into it's own as a valuable member of the health care team. We follow approved standards of care and protocols just like anyother nursing speciality area. And like many other speciality areas we can sit for the national certification exam.
  11. 0
    Quote from rosygirl
    I also work from home and work full time evenings. I began telephone triage about 7 years ago, and came into it after many years of varied nursing experience and about 5 years of hospice after hours triage experience. Telehealth nursing has come into it's own as a valuable member of the health care team. We follow approved standards of care and protocols just like anyother nursing speciality area. And like many other speciality areas we can sit for the national certification exam.
    seems interesting....how can i get more info about it. working from home is a super big plus especially when u have kids like me
  12. 1
    I think if you goggle "telephone triage nursing" you can probably find info. for the Cert exam info try www.nccnet.org , some of the other threads name organizations that do telephone triage including the one I work for Intellicare out of South Portland MN. Good luck in you search
    FoundShell likes this.
  13. 0
    Working from home is a great perk, but it is still work and you have to be able to seperate work from home life. You can not be cooking dinner, helping with home work etc while on the clock. Your work space has to be a seperate area where you can close the door, to maintain confidentuality and focus. My kids are at college now so this isn't usually an issue for me, but when they come home on break and I hear the family laughing and talking I want to be with them rather then talking to yet another psyco parent (er, make that person in need of my expertise :roll )


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