EVALUATING AFTER-HOURS TRIAGE PROVIDERS FOR HOSPICE AND HOME HEALTH – Think about your needs, not the vendors!
In our continuing series on “Evaluating After-Hours Triage Vendors” we are posting this week on the subject of “Needs”. One of the most important criteria for selecting a Nurse Based Phone Triage Service Provider has always been whether or not the vendor can satisfy and will to meet YOUR NEEDS. Often times we hear that vendors are offering a discounted or automated “app based” triage service that costs less and doesn’t require any staff because all it does is route calls to your on call nurse. Now, for some this may be the approach you need. But for others, having a nurse answer each and every call, with your protocols (not the vendors suggested protocols) is the preferred approach.
Here are some things to think about when talking about “needs” with your short list of vendors.
Determine your organization’s needs prior to after-hours triage vendor selection
Determine what the organization wants out of a nurse based triage solution, including coverage capabilities, reporting, phone technology, experience and support. Determine what level of coverage is needed. Does your organization need coverage 7 days week, weekends only or 24/7? Does the after-hours triage vendor provide only one approach to triage protocol development for every hospice and home health organization? Or does the triage provider custom build protocols and process for each and every client? Does the triage provider force you to let them integrate with your EMR/EHR technology or do they just need access to your systems to do the charting? Having the option to do both is key, but just allowing access to your EMR/EHR provides less of an obstacle for your I.T. departments.