As more patients learn to trust telemedicine, emergency rooms are beginning to use it to triage their patients. Being able to remotely triage patients can help emergency rooms to optimize their care with more efficiency and lower costs. Teletriage platforms give providers the ability to remotely learn about a patient’s condition and accurately determine what care that patient needs. They can also follow up or monitor their patients through the same remote platforms.
Triage Benefits of Telemedicine for Providers
Adding teletriage to emergency departments and urgent care bring several benefits that can reduce costs and improve care. The benefits of telemedicine for providers can involve increased revenue, better staffing plans, and higher rates of satisfaction from low-risk patients. With remote triage, providers also have fewer face-to-face exposures to patients, thus making their workplaces safer.
Telemedicine Triage for Emergency Departments & Urgent Care
All too often, patients arrive at an urgent care facility or emergency room with low-risk conditions. Once they’ve been triaged, they end up waiting for a room while overburdened providers are busy treating higher-risk patients. Eventually, the waiting rooms and exam rooms become crowded as more people arrive and low-risk patients get pushed down the list. Waiting patients become frustrated and impatient, and some choose to leave without receiving treatment.
When emergency rooms and urgent care centers use teletriage, overcrowding problems can slow because processing times speed up. As processing times speed up, wait times reduce, and bottlenecks decrease. Shorter wait times can equate to happier patients who are satisfied with their care. The latest technology and real-time data give providers and patients better remote clinical care, especially if a trip to the urgent care center is not necessary.
Financial Benefits of Telemedicine
Remote triage healthcare offers several financial benefits, both for providers and patients. Telehealth requires less time than in-person care, which opens up opportunities for more practice revenue.
Many virtual visits cost less than $100, simply because they take minimal time. Compare this cost to the average cost to a hospital of an emergency department visit, which involves paying triage nurses, providers, hospital housekeeping, parking attendants, and other related employees. Patients can also save money by not having to drive to the emergency room, taking time away from work and home, and paying for childcare.
Telemedicine triage leaves precious treatment room space available for patients who truly need the space. With fewer low-risk patients taking up precious treatment rooms, providers can better allocate their staffing and have the potential to save money.
Triage Benefits of Telemedicine for Patients
Patients in big cities, small towns, and rural areas can benefit from remote triage. Financial benefits of teletriage for patients include reduced costs, better use of time, and a likelihood that patients will look for care when they need it.
Remote Triage Increases Patient Access
Rural patients often have minimal access to care centers, emergency rooms, and doctor’s offices. With remote triage and telehealth offerings, rural patients can access emergency room care providers who listen and deliver necessary care. Without remote triage, rural patients often have to drive an hour or more to receive any type of urgent care.
Patients in big cities also have struggled to find timely healthcare. Even though big cities often have several hospitals and urgent care centers, many are understaffed and overburdened. Rather than having to drive long distances for care, urban patients often have long waits. With remote triage, urban patients can receive timely and affordable care with satisfactory results.
Often, patients who need care avoid it because they don’t want to wait in an emergency room or drive to one. With telehealth services and remote triage, more patients can request care without putting themselves in danger in crowded waiting rooms. Patients can have meaningful conversations with healthcare providers from the comfort of their homes, and in some cases, providers can also remotely monitor patients when needed. Remote monitoring becomes easier when patients can use high-tech webcams, blood pressure monitors, and ear infection diagnostic tools.
Increase Patient Satisfaction
When patients sit for hours in waiting rooms, patient satisfaction immediately drops. Low-risk problems like ear infections, minor sprains, or flu symptoms tend to move down the priority list as patients with breathing problems, seizures, heart attacks, strokes, and bleeding get to the top of the list. In busy emergency rooms, low-risk patients could spend half of their day in waiting rooms before a provider sees them.
Remote triage lets urgent care centers treat the high-risk patients in person and the low-risk patients at home. Patients appreciate having responsive care in a reasonable time, which immediately increases patient satisfaction. Patients describe their symptoms while providers enter the details into a remote diagnostic platform. The platform provides follow-up questions to help the provider get a full picture of the problem without having to see the patient in person.
Remote Triage Solutions in Healthcare
To provide outstanding remote triage, urgent care centers and emergency rooms need telemedicine services technology solutions that let them streamline clinical and administrative workflows. The solution needs to be an easy-to-use and accessible platform that runs on all types of mobile technology so the patient and providers can use it without any training. The platform needs to be affordable so it does not impact the cost of care.
When more hospitals recognize the need for remote triage solutions in healthcare, dedicated platforms can be developed specifically to address those teletriage needs. As a leader in Connected Healthcare, Trapollo offers remote patient monitoring solutions that could be integrated into your hospital’s existing teletriage system. For more information about our solutions and to discuss how we can connect with you, please contact us here.