Telemedicine (using technology to provide healthcare at a distance) is a hot topic these days. And while nurse telephone triage is one of the earliest forms of telemedicine, what’s making news is remote video visits. Or more specifically, patients and providers having video conversations using smartphones, computers, or specialized equipment.
However, with all of the hype about telemedicine, we’ve found it interesting how few primary care providers and organizations are actually using telemedicine on a regular basis. For those of you familiar with Crossing the Chasm, primary care practices and clinics are definitely in the early adopter stage of the technology adoption curve.
Reasons for this slow uptake include:
• Lack of simple ways to fit telemedicine into existing workflows
• Inconsistent reimbursement
• Difficult-to-use technology
But what if you’re one of those early adopters that has started scheduling video visits? Or you’re just about to? And what if you also offer nurse telephone triage as a service to your patients? Can you connect these two parts of your practice? Can you leverage your existing telephone triage service to drive patients into reimbursable telemedicine visits? The answer is yes!
ClearTriage has recently released the ability mark triage questions as “Video Visit Eligible”. This means you can decide which symptoms you want to start seeing in your telemedicine visits, then prompt your triage nurses to offer a video visit to patients with those symptoms. For example, this allows a practice to decide which types of rash characteristics they want to see in a video visit and which they don’t. Or which eye symptoms. Or which throat symptoms… Each organization can start exploring telemedicine in the manner in which they are most comfortable.
For the nurse on a telephone triage call, ClearTriage then provides an easy visual indicator for each triage question eligible for a telemedicine visit. And once that question is marked as positive, the nurse is prompted to record whether they offered a video visit and, if they did, whether the caller accepted. These responses are collected so you can monitor and improve the rollout of your telemedicine offering.
Telemedicine is a convenience that your customers (your patients) want. ClearTriage is committed to supporting this with a consistent, simple handoff from nurse telephone triage calls to those video visits.
If you’re an existing ClearTriage customer, you can try this now by choosing Customization in the menu under your name in the top right corner of ClearTriage. And if you don’t have a ClearTriage account, it only takes a few minutes to sign up for a 30-day free trial!