What’s the difference between a nurse triage call service and a medical answering service?
Do they operate the same way?
How should a healthcare provider choose between the two?
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what both services offer and go through some important considerations you need to make before selecting one.
What Is Triage?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, triage is “the process of quickly examining patients who are taken to a hospital in order to decide which ones are the most seriously ill and must be treated first.”
So when resources are inefficient to treat patients immediately, doctors and healthcare professionals have to prioritize different cases based on the case’s emergency. In the simplest sense, triage is the process of sorting, screening, and guiding people with the purpose of them receiving appropriate medical care.
In this article, however, we’re predominantly discussing triage that is done over the phone, for hospitals, offices, and other healthcare facilities.
Different Kinds of Triage Services
Triage can be performed in several different circumstances and settings, but in recent times, it has proven to become increasingly effective over the telephone.
For several healthcare practices, triage can be performed by their own office staff or their own providers. However, if you’re trying to provide exceptional triage 24/7, it can be cost-effective to get a nurse triage call service or a medical answering service.
Third-party companies like Call 4 Health take calls on the behalf of your healthcare practice and provide excellent triage support to your prospective or existing patients. The two primary kinds of services we offer for triaging on calls are:
- Nurse triage call service
- Medical answering service
Nurse Triage Call Service
These services are provided by medical professionals or registered nurses who have spent time in the healthcare setting. Because of their experience, they can provide prompt medical advice and easily determine the level of care you’ll need.
Medical Answering Service
A medical answering service is provided by a call center operator who doesn’t have medical training. These people help screen calls and provide efficient telephonic customer service to any person who is in need. That said, they are unable to provide medical guidance, which is why they may dispatch a call to a nurse or a physician who can provide additional triage.
The Advantages of a Nurse Triage Call Service
A nurse triage call service makes use of licensed medical professionals which is why their advice is a lot more detailed than a basic answering service. As a result, several calls can be resolved without the matter being escalated to an on-call staff member or an experienced physician.
These nurses are particularly trained in triage and undergo strict quality assurance programs at Call 4 Health to ensure our customers get the possible service.
They’re given a set of guidelines and the necessary documentation to ensure patients receive consistent care.
Another benefit is that even when your healthcare facility is closed, your patients can still get medical advice. This stops the patient from switching to a different hospital and also ensures they receive the best levels of care from your facility.
A nurse triage call service allows your healthcare providers to work seamlessly and there are standardized protocols to answer every question a patient can ask.
Moreover, while a nurse triage call service can prove to be beneficial for patients who need your help, there are always a few cases that can’t be handled at home.
Most people avoid going to a doctor unless it’s absolutely necessary and a nurse triage call service can convince a patient that they need to visit a hospital.
The Advantages of a Medical Answering Service
Basic levels of triage can also be performed by a call center operator who doesn’t have the necessary medical training.
These people are supported by physicians or nurses when they need expert medical guidance. These medical answering services are intended to achieve similar results as a nurse triage call service.
However, both of these services differ because since call center operators are not licensed medical professionals, they aren’t able to provide healthcare-related advice and rely more on-call support and different scripts.
Call 4 Health Can Help!
The decision between selecting a medical answering service or a nurse triage call service depends on the kind of healthcare service you have and what you want to provide. If you have questions about which service you may need for your medical facility, call us today on 855 244 3258 and let Call 4 Health let you make the decision.