Telephone triage is now an important aspect of
health care. Successful telephone triage programs embody these important elements:
- Adequate numbers of
competent professional nurses, available to meet the service needs
of the patient population.
- Professional telephone
triage nurses who exhibit the following competencies:
- Clinical knowledge
of disease assessment and strategies for effective patient education
regarding disease prevention and self-care.
- Effective communications
skills including: effective listening, counseling and crisis management.
- Demonstrated knowledge
of institutional resources, protocols, policies/procedures and
- Adherence to approved, evidence based protocols which
provide a safe, consistent standard of care within the community.
- Precise patient encounter
documentation that reflects the nursing process and includes: interventions,
resources used, recommendations and expected patient outcomes.
- Triage focused on
identifying the nature and urgency of the client's health care needs
and then determining the appropriate
- When self-care advice
is indicated, the nurse must provide the caller with appropriate education
- Diverse populations are accommodated.
- The telephone triage nurse is always the patient's
- Telephone triage nurses are integrated into all aspects
of quality improvement decision making.