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Data Shows Value of Telehealth Nurse Triage and Impact of Pandemic on Consumer Behavior


One of Carenet Health’s largest telehealth clients is a commercial health plan* with members of all ages, located across the nation. Because of the volume of data generated and the demographic and geographic range of its members, we consider analysis of this plan’s data as a valuable representation of the U.S. population, providing relevant insights into telehealth trends.

 Below, we’ve collected a few interesting data points that tell the story of 2020 in terms of on-demand nurse triage services utilization and more.

Nurse advice and symptom triage became an even greater essential service for delivery of care and information in 2020.

The increase in use of telehealth-based nurse advice services wasn’t all related to COVID-19.

Patients were more willing to be transferred from a nurse advice interaction to an on-demand telehealth physician than in the past.

increase in patients who agreed to be transferred when presented with the option, 2020 over 2019
0 %

Patients were often wrong about the level of care they needed.

Through the use of effective telehealth triage, patients were able to get the RIGHT care for their healthcare need. In many cases, patients were able to avoid unnecessary ER or urgent care visits, and our client was able to mitigate avoidable costs. Most importantly, those patients whose pre-intent was to stay at home (many were often very hesitant to seek out in-person care because of COVID-19 fears) were redirected to the appropriate level of care—quickly—thanks to nurses’ triage work.

of patients were redirected to a different level of care than what they thought they needed at the beginning of the interaction
1 %
of pre-intent ED visits were redirected to a lower level of care, per triage guidelines
0 %
of patients with pre-intent to care for themselves at home (and anecdotal hesitance about in-person care due to the pandemic) were redirected to see the MD within 24 hours, or visit urgent care or the ED
0 %

Most patients turned to telehealth nurse advice for COVID-19 concerns, cold/flu symptoms and abdominal pain.

Learn more: Carenet Health is the nation’s largest provider of telehealth nurse triage services in the U.S. If you’d like to discuss these findings or how to maximize your organization’s use of nurse triage to lower costs and improve the consumer experience, please reach out to us today.

* This client has asked us not to publish their name. We’ve been working with this client since 2014.