Clinical triage is an important part of healthcare. It ensures that patients are directed to the healthcare service or clinician that can best help with their symptoms in an appropriate time frame. However, GP practices are receiving increasing requests from their patients often operating on a first come first serve basis for booking appointments. This often leads to long patient waiting times on the phone and reception and admin teams struggling to keep up with patient activity and manage the demand for appointments.
A digital triage solution can help practices manage this demand more efficiently, by helping practices to identify and prioritise the sickest patients – ensuring patients get the care they need, at the right time and in the right place.
A good digital triage tool should help patients get care at the right place at the right time, and not prevent this. It needs to be reliable and provide clinically appropriate advice with necessary safeguards in place. Whilst some tools fully automate this process, others allow clinicians to override these recommendations where they feel necessary to provide the best care for their patients.
And in some cases, digital triage tools can reduce unnecessary trips to healthcare services by recommending a patient should manage their symptoms at home, for minor conditions.
A digital triage tool helps both practices and patients by:
- Supporting clinical decision making by providing clinical teams with comprehensive reports on their patients’ symptoms, through patients completing a symptom assessment.
- Supporting non-clinical staff by providing additional functionality in the tool that reduces the administrative burden on reception and administrative team. This can be done by allowing patients to book appointments, request repeat prescriptions and make admin task requests themselves.
- Improve access to GP services for patients and provide them with 24/7 access to medical advice as they can access the digital triage tool outside of practice opening times.
- Improve the patient experience, by reduce the number of patients waiting on the phone and freeing up the phone lines for patients with no or limited access to digital tools to contact the practice.
Learn more about Doctorlink’s Online Consultation solution with both Automated and Practice-Led Triage functionality – proven to provide 90% accurate and 100% safe triage advice, and #1 for accurately recommend self-care for minor symptoms.
Filled in the symptom tracker yesterday afternoon, 40 minutes later I was talking to my GP on the phone, 1 hour after that I had antibiotics. No fuss, no calling at 8am and waiting in a queue. Anonymous Patient.