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15 Tips to Increase Nurse Advice Line Utilization


With today’s unsustainable healthcare costs, it’s important to find ways to reduce unnecessary ER, urgent care and primary care visits. A high-quality and experienced nurse advice line can be an integral part of the solution.

Keep in mind, though, that reaping the benefits of any kind of nurse triage service or nurse advice solution requires concentrated educational and promotional efforts, so that health plan members connect with the solution (and repeat that contact again and again as needed).

To fuel your success, consider these tips from our Carenet Health nurse advice line experts, based on our three decades of experience.

  1. Communicate that it’s free and convenient. Any time your nurse advice line information is promoted, be sure to include that there is no cost for use and that it can deliver quick answers from just about anywhere—home, office or school, and from parks, playgrounds and sports fields.
  2. Advertise it on your website: Prominently display the nurse advice line contact information on your health plan member portal or patient-facing website. The number should be both inside and outside of any required login area.
  3. Publish it on EOBs: Include the nurse advice line information on all consumer explanation of benefit (EOB) documents (print and electronic).
  4. Ensure information is prominently displayed on member benefit card, physician business cards, appointment cards and other types of similar communications: Amp up your nurse advice line promotion on the back of items like benefits cards or provider appointment cards.
  5. Prioritize it in your call tree: If the nurse advice line service is mentioned as part of a call tree (IVR messaging), make sure it is notably listed.
  6. Put a reminder on customer service calls: Add a nurse advice line reminder message to the end of every inbound service call. Offer to transfer callers to the nurse line if they are experiencing symptoms.
  7. Add a reminder on outbound calls: Add a nurse advice line reminder message to the end of every outbound outreach call. Offer to connect the individual right away if they are experiencing symptoms.
  8. Plan automated reminder communications: Periodically schedule an automated health notification (pre-recorded phone call or automated text message, as allowed) throughout the year to remind your members/ patients to use the nurse hotline service.
  9. Send email reminders: Send a basic email message (non-PHI, and with no images so open rates are higher) to your members/patients to remind and educate them on the availability of nurses with just a phone call. You can do this generally and also tie it to times of year when you know there will be higher need— such as allergy or flu season.
  10. Hang posters: Provide posters for clients’ employee work spaces or patient waiting rooms that advertise the nurse advice phone number.
  11. Target frequent flyers: Target Low-Acuity Non-Emergent (L.A.N.E.) emergency room over-utilizers with a live-agent outreach campaign to educate them about your telehealth options and nurses who can triage symptoms over the phone. Carenet has a program specifically built for this outreach.
  12. Combine with customer service/telehealth: Couple the nurse advice line with other high-value services, such as customer service and physician virtual care, to boost value. Make your customer service calls a one-stop shop for direction, care guidance and triage. Have your healthcare consumer engagement teams always ask if callers need to speak to a registered nurse while on the call.
  13. Market directly to non-English speakers/readers: If you have a large population of individuals who can’t speak or read English, create a version of all of your nurse advice line marketing materials in their first language (such as Spanish).
  14. Make materials available during health plan open enrollment: Make sure open enrollment presenters are well-equipped with nurse line marketing materials such as fliers and handouts.
  15. Include information in welcome kits: Include a nurse advice educational piece in enrollment materials and new member welcome kits. Postcards and magnets can be particularly effective, too.

How can we help further?

Call 800.809.7000 or reach out to us. Carenet Health’s team of healthcare professionals supports more than 86 million healthcare consumers on behalf of 250 of the nation’s premier health plans, providers, health systems and Fortune 500 organizations. Leverage our years of knowledge to improve your member and patient engagement.