We don’t know how you feel about resolutions, but we think that a new year requires, at the minimum, time to reflect on the last 12 months. We are especially curious how your balance between the holiday season and patient care went. Were you able to spend your holidays away from the office? Did you have a restful holiday season? Did you find yourself free from after-hour calls? Were you able to take time away from work despite healthcare being a 24/7 job?
If you answered no to any of these questions, then maybe it’s time to rethink how your practice handles after-hours calls. We know that your day-to-day clinic schedule is extraordinarily busy — particularly in the winter months. However, that doesn’t mean that your nights, weekends, and holidays have to be overrun with work, too.
We want to help you in your quest to have a readily available medical staff while allowing yourself time away from work. In this blog, we’ll explore three ways that after-hours nurse triage can improve your out-of-office experience.
Enhance Out-of-Office Time with an After-Hours Service
Your physical, mental, and emotional health matter. In order to stay holistically healthy, you need to get an appropriate amount of rest. Allowing yourself to have a full night’s sleep is of utmost importance. But when patients are calling at all hours for medical advice and direction, it can be difficult — even impossible — to achieve an adequate amount of sleep. This is where the Anytime After Hours platform can allow you to have more restful time off. Let’s break it down in three ways!
1. Offer Parents Reassurance and Guidance
This is the time of year when viruses are running rampant, and children have vague symptoms, ranging from fever to cough to congestion. It’s difficult enough as a clinician to sort through their symptoms, but talking with a worried parent in the middle of the night can be even more challenging. On average, 80 percent of after-hour calls are the result of parental worry and can be resolved with a nurse on-call.
Our after-hours triage nurses are able to take a comprehensive history from the parent or guardian calling. They use evidenced-based protocols and offer expert medical advice that is appropriate to the situation. Our registered nurses can answer parents’ questions while simultaneously calming their fears. This reduces the likelihood that your patients will seek unnecessary emergency room treatment, keeping them in the medical home.
2. Connect with a Nurse
Anytime After Hours is staffed by registered nurses with at least five years of emergency room or pediatric experience. Our nurses follow the widely used and accepted Schmitt-Thompson Protocols for every patient call. When needed, the nurses can convert patient calls into video triage. This is especially helpful when a parent is worried about a symptom or concern that’s better evaluated when a medical professional can lay eyes on the patient.
With our after-hours nurse triage, you can rest assured with the knowledge that your patients are receiving safe, accurate, and consistent medical advice from experienced healthcare professionals.
3. Schedule Appropriate Post-Call Evaluation
Imagine your patient being seen in the emergency room where they really received only costly reassurance and symptomatic treatment that could have happened in the medical home. Your patient might then be lost to follow-up until the next time they are ill, and the cycle repeats itself. Continuity of healthcare is crucial in improving patient outcomes and providing quality patient care.
Anytime After Hours not only offers families the guidance and medical advice they need, but it also helps your patients schedule their continued follow-up care with your office, allowing you to keep up with their medical journey. This follow-up care might include scheduling a telemedicine visit for the next day or routing your patient to an on-call provider during the triage process. Our nurses instruct only five percent of patients to go to the emergency department immediately, whereas the national call center average is 14 percent. With Anytime After Hours, your patients are receiving proper care following their conversation with the triage nurse.
Reflect Your Way to Rest and Restoration
When you look back at the last 12 months, ask yourself if you were able to enjoy time with loved ones or if you found yourself using time and energy that you do not have. Ultimately, patient care suffers when you are overworked and in danger of occupational burnout.
Let Anytime Pediatrics do the after-hours work for you! Our after-hours nurse triage program allows you to have the out-of-office rest you deserve while still offering your patients quality medical care. For more information, contact us today to request a consultation!