Many health plans and some healthcare providers offer a nurse advice line to support patients and members by assessing and triaging symptoms, offering care advice and referrals, and educating members about their health.
But what if the power of a nurse advice line could be leveraged to have a real impact on plan costs, outcomes and satisfaction? And what if this cost center could be transformed into a strategic solution that supports patient safety and experience while also directing non-urgent care to the most appropriate setting?
A pioneer in telehealth for three decades, Carenet Health’s telehealth and clinical engagement services include an award-winning nurse advice line. Because of our longevity in the field, we have learned a few lessons and helped our clients take a basic telephonic nurse offering to a high-quality asset.
At a birds-eye view, health plans and providers that take their nurse line to greater levels of performance can expect benefits like:
- Improved overall care access
- Better coordination of care and scheduling
- Higher quality of clinical support interactions
- An elevated level of patient service delivery and speed
- Higher satisfaction and appreciation for a free source of guidance and information
- Reduced stress, anxiety, confusion and risk for patients who use the service
- Increased patient education, improved engagement and higher compliance with treatment recommendations and preventive screenings
- Improved utilization of healthcare benefits, resources and dollars
- A substantial decrease in unnecessary urgent care and ER use and associated costs (and even primary care utilization when not needed)
- Boosted retention and word-of-mouth acquisition
- Satisfaction of accreditation and certification requirements
How to get started optimizing your nurse advice line
Here are a few tips to fuel your next steps.
- Seek a nurse call center provider that has earned the URAC Health Call Center Accreditation, which comprehensively examines systems, processes and performance.
- Look for NCQA Health Information Products (HIP) Certification when considering potential partners for nurse information and triage services.
- Ensure the telehealth service is staffed with experienced, licensed registered nurses (RNs) who are specially trained to conduct telephone triage and operate under conditions of uncertainty with limited sensory input.
- To meet the on-demand expectations of today’s healthcare consumer, provide around-the-clock service.
- Be sure you are taking advantage of multiple communication channel options, including health portal chats and text messaging capabilities.
You can learn more about these tips and benefits in our 10 Best Practices for Nurse Advice Lines ebook. And contact us today if we can tell you more about how to use the Carenet 24/7 team for your organization.