Can ClearTriage provide the Schmitt-Thompson protocols for an after hours nurse telephone triage service? That’s an interesting question. Interesting because the majority of ClearTriage customers, whether taking calls during the day or 24/7, are storing call notes in their EHR or a similar system designed to store patient information. In fact, our customers are using ClearTriage with over 60 different EHRs and that number is growing!
But what if you’re an after hours service taking calls for a variety of other practices and clinics and you don’t have access to their EHRs? You’re still interested in ClearTriage because of its ease-of-use, powerful triage features and affordable pricing. But you need somewhere to store the details of each triage call and then share that information with your clients.
This article will introduce you to On-Call Hub by PQC Tech, an easy-to-use HIPAA-compliant solution that does just that. It can be customized to match your workflow, storing just what your organization needs and then securely sharing some or all of that information with your clients. If you’re technically-inclined and lean toward DIY solutions, our next blog article in this series will discuss building your own system using a spreadsheet in Google’s G Suite. Either solution will let your nurses use ClearTriage to safely and effectively triage your callers.
A Case Study
Innovative Triage Services LLC is a nurse-owned company taking after hours triage calls for healthcare providers across the state of New York. Innovative Triage Services takes calls for all ages, from infants to elderly patients. Their clients cover the spectrum from primary and specialty practices to managed care and group homes.
Cheryl Hunt RN and Georgann Purtell RN, co-founders of Innovative Triage Services, strongly believe that using software which integrates the gold-standard Schmitt-Thompson telephone triage protocols helps their nurses safely and effectively triage calls. This belief was put to the test recently with an unexpected announcement by their previous software provider: they were changing focus and would no longer be able to support Innovative Triage Services. With only a few months to identify and implement a new software solution, the pressure was on!
Innovative Triage Service’s workflow was (and is):
- Answering service agents front the call, entering demographic information and a brief reason for the call. The agent then submits the call to the nurse triage queue.
- Triage nurses assign themselves a call from the queue, then return the call.
- The nurse triages the patient call, using the Schmitt-Thompson protocols with their experience and judgement to arrive at the proper disposition of the call.
- Documentation of the call is saved and made available to Innovative Triage Services’ client.
- Monitoring of response times and quality is constant and ongoing, with staffing adjustments made on the fly as necessary.
As nurses and business owners, Cheryl and Georgann recognized the benefits of utilizing ClearTriage to handle the actual triage call (step 3 above). After in-depth investigation and consideration of multiple alternatives, they concluded that On-Call Hub was the ideal software to work with ClearTriage and handle the other steps in their workflow (steps 1, 2, 4 and 5 above). On-Call Hub integrates tightly with ClearTriage while serving as the backbone for managing their calls.
Cheryl and Georgann worked closely with the team at PQC Tech to customize On-Call Hub’s general workflow to meet the specific needs of their business. PQC Tech implemented these changes quickly, providing Innovative Triage Services with a working system on a tight deadline while still leaving enough time to train their staff and go live before they lost access to their previous software.
In Cheryl and Georgann’s own words:
Our company recently found itself in an unexpected predicament: we needed to replace our nurse triage software, and fast. Despite the daunting task of needing to be ready to go-live very quickly in order to meet our looming deadline, Matt, Steve and Chris never wavered in their confidence that they could make it happen. In less than three months they collaborated with us closely to create a vastly superior, customized software that has made us grateful for the original crisis that brought us to this point. We cannot adequately express the level of esteem we hold for this team.
On-Call Hub is a HIPAA-compliant, web-based solution for triage services supporting multiple clients. You can learn more about On-Call Hub and request a demo at www.pqctech.com/oncallhub. Maybe On-Call Hub combined with ClearTriage is the right solution for you!
Here at ClearTriage we are available to brainstorm ideas for using ClearTriage in your organization. Whether it’s storing the note in your EHR or another system already in place, a simple solution using Office or G Suite, or a more feature-rich solution such as On-Call Hub or Salesforce, we can help identify and clarify your options. And all of these solutions can allow your nursing staff to enjoy the simplicity and power of triaging with ClearTriage.