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Nurse Triage and After Hours Care

Why Virtual Nurse Triage? 3 Populations Who Benefit

Virtual visits have continued to gain traction throughout the pandemic, with telehealth quickly becoming a standard of care. Patients expect the opportunity to schedule a virtual visit when they are not able to come into your office. Not only is telemedicine a convenient and cost-effective way for you to deliver high-quality care, but it also has benefits for patients of all ages and their parents.

From first-time parents to adolescents, virtual nurse triage, like our Anytime After Hours services, can assist your practice with handling an influx of calls. It also helps you determine who needs emergent care, who needs an office visit, and who can manage their symptoms at home. Imagine parents calling about their sick child and being met, virtually, with a friendly face who is also a knowledgeable health care professional.

With virtual nurse triage, you are better able to route patients to the right setting for the appropriate level of treatment. Additionally, parents know their children are receiving the best care while they also get much needed reassurance.

Virtual nurse triage is an excellent way to serve the families in your community. Here are three populations who benefit from utilizing it!

First-Time Parents

Being a first-time parent was stressful when there was not a pandemic. Every symptom that a little one has is new to the parents, and now you are probably seeing many new symptoms in light of COVID-19.

When parents are unsure about whether their child needs to be seen, it’s comforting to know they can call your pediatric office and be connected, face to face, with a registered nurse. They know that the nurse is seeing what they are seeing and can provide both directions on appropriate treatment options, such as scheduling a visit (virtual or in person), or giving them over-the-counter medications and instructions on when to call back. They are also able to provide much needed reassurance to concerned parents.

Parents of Multiple Children

Getting out of the house with one sick child, let alone when there is a sibling or are multiple siblings, is nearly impossible for already overwhelmed parents. Virtual nurse triage offers convenience by allowing families to avoid a trip to the office with both sick and healthy children. This also helps your patients and their siblings refrain from being unnecessarily exposed to other ill children. In addition, connecting with a triage nurse virtually means parents can have their children assessed and be given guidance even during quarantine.

Teens and College Students

Providing care to adolescents can be tricky. While parents want to be involved, your patient has a right to privacy and confidentiality, regardless of their age, as long as they are safe. Providing virtual nurse triage services to this population is still a valuable option as long as you remember a few key things.


Ask your patient if they feel they are in a private space. If not, you can still maintain privacy by asking them to move to a different area or, if they are able, to add background noise. If their parents are present in the video chat, you can ask them to step away. Remember to trust your patient’s response. If they do not feel their privacy is being protected, consider switching to telephone nurse triage.


It is important to maintain confidentiality with adolescents’ medical records. However, adolescent patients should know that confidentiality may be breached if they are found to be at risk of harming themselves or others. Make sure your nurses discuss these limitations with your patients.

Risk Assessment

One of the ways that virtual triage is more cost- and time-effective is that much of the preparation for the appointment can be done prior to your call with your patient. For adolescents, this can look like asking them to fill out risk screening forms ahead of time, so you can review their answers with them during their appointment. Your practice should also establish and communicate a protocol for when risk assessment indicates an adolescent has thoughts and/or a plan of hurting themselves or others.

Final Thoughts on Anytime After Hours Virtual Nurse Triage

Virtual nurse triage saves parents time and money by avoiding unnecessary trips to the emergency room or urgent care. It also lowers overall health care costs. In fact, multiple studies have shown that virtual nurse triage decreases healthcare costs by providing a 2.5 to 3.5 times return on investment.

Virtual nurse triage is safe across all age groups because nurses assess patients and provide proper medical guidance. It allows care to stay in the medical home, leading to a high rate of patient satisfaction and improved patient outcomes.

To discuss how Anytime After Hours virtual nurse triage will complement your practice, contact us today!