Redefining Access to Care: The Role and Benefits of After-Hours Triage Services

At 3 a.m., a baby’s fever can worry a new mom or dad. So much so, they may consider a trip to the nearest emergency department (ED) entirely prudent. The question is: Is it truly necessary?

With Conduit’s Health Partners’ Nurse-First Triage Services, the answer is just a quick phone call away. This value-driven service gives your patients, employees and members the assistance and support they need during those hours and days when their usual health care provider is unavailable. It offers trusted medical advice and peace of mind while reducing unnecessary ED visits and helping reign in health care costs.

Convenient after-hours access to clinical expertise

It’s not unusual for people’s most pressing medical concerns to arise after regular business hours. Anxiety and worry magnify when someone isn’t sure where to turn. Our Nurse-First Triage Services help you address your clients’ concerns after hours and better meet their needs.

Experienced registered nurses handle every call from the start and initiate their assessment immediately. The majority of calls are answered within 30 seconds; providing callers a positive experience and preventing hang-ups.

Working out of our URAC-accredited health call center, our nurses use Schmitt-Thompson protocols to evaluate each caller’s symptoms and situation. These evidence-based decision support tools, considered the gold standard of nurse telehealth triage guidelines, cover nearly 350 pediatric and 400 adult topics.

The protocols and the nurses’ own clinical expertise allow them to answer callers’ questions, offer advice, ease their fears and direct them to the most suitable and cost-effective level of care — including preferred and in-network providers when appropriate. The nurses can even expedite care by contacting a provider or emergency department on the caller’s behalf. We customize your solution to your organization’s culture, footprint and goals.

The best part for your patients and members: We make our services available any time of night (or day), even on weekends and holidays. The people in your care get the help and support they need when and where they need it.

Benefits of after-hours triage

An after-hours triage solution offers tremendous benefits. There’s no substitute for the relief callers feel when they know a clinical expert has assessed their condition and recommended the most appropriate care. Very often, that won’t require a trip to the ED. So, callers are grateful to avoid what’s typically the costliest and frequently most time-consuming care. Their sense of relief and time-savings may increase their satisfaction.

Undoubtedly, fewer emergency department visits will increase your satisfaction, too. Each avoided visit equals cost savings for employers, health plans and ED providers. In one case, a Conduit client saw its ED avoidance rate increase to nearly 90% after partnering with us. An average emergency department visit costs $1,200 to $1,400, and the cost of telehealth nurse triage is just $30, so it’s easy to see the value.

For provider practices, partnering with us may also improve employee satisfaction. As an extension of your team providing after-hours support, we can help address issues relative to retention and recruitment. Our Nurse-First Triage Services lift the burden on your on-call staff and lower the risk of in-office staff burnout. Nurse-first triage program also offer a solution to ease ED crowding by offering more appropriate care settings for those with non-emergent issues.

Learn more how Conduit enhances health care access and efficiency

Whether helping frightened new parents or supporting your on-call staff, implementing an after-hours triage service will not only improve patient access and satisfaction by extending the care you offer after-hours but enables you to reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and position yourself as a leader in the evolving healthcare industry.   

We invite you to connect with us to learn more.

Contact us today to learn how Conduit Health Partners can help your organization.