General practice is embarking on a transformational journey – a journey that is re-evaluating the people. Clinical resources, processes, deployment of those resources and the technology. Not to mention the mechanisms by which engagement with patients is managed.
The key objective of Telephone Triage is to help patients access the right care at the earliest opportunity – and in a way that provides them with flexibility, convenience, security, a sense of ownership and the stimulation to invest in their wellbeing.
There are numerous drivers for this patient centred approach and outcomes will include a more streamlined workload for GPs, ANPs and other members of the clinical teams. The aim to drive further practice efficiencies in terms of access to services and to deliver a more patient centred approach. It will achieve this by providing more efficient use of clinical time – which in turns provides patients with timely and personal access to the clinical teams.
Objectives: Telephone Triage is an essential patient engagement technique that will further develop the skills of the clinical teams. There are different skills and abilities needed to undertake effective telephone triage and the clinical diagnosis. After this web workshop, clinical staff will be confident in handling the triage call, in diagnosing, advising and where applicable referring patients to care providers who work either within the practice team or to external care providers.
Telephone triage can present a challenging cultural shift for some clinical teams members – and we will explore the mechanisms to help make the change as smooth as possible – some of this will build on the existing understanding, within the practice, of the need to change and a realisation of the benefits these changes can have.
Successful telephone triage is reliant on 3 core principles:
- Robust agreed protocols and patient confidentiality.
- A full commitment from the whole team to support staff in delivering telephone.
- Continuing audit of activity and outcomes including patient records, complaints and significant or serious incidents.