Telephone triage is growing as a unique way to gain access to healthcare aid according to a new survey that was conducted by Camden Health that reached out to 1,195 nurses, GPs, and practice managers. The increase is being attributed to the increase in workload brought on by NHS reforms and the new focus on mobile technology.
Out of the practice managers that were included in the poll, about 56% had used telephone triage in the past and most practices that stated they did relied on the practice with 10% triaging patients and another 9% of the practices choosing to triage all of their patients. In addition, 95% of the respondents stated that phone triage was a very efficient way to offer healthcare to their patients explaining that it was a successful way to handle patients.
The problem is the quality of healthcare that is provided via telephone triage as about half of the providers did not actually have formal training when it comes to telephone triage habits. Another 13% of all of the respondents stated that their receptionists were involved with the triage even though they did not have any type of medical training or background. Out of these, many conducted telephone triage without any aid from a doctor or nurse or any training.
The poll also showed that about 44% of all practices had seen their patient numbers increase and that there is a large variation when it comes to the way that problems are resolved with numbers that ranged from one to 60% or more. After telephone triage about 90% of patients received an actual appointment with a GP if it was found necessary within five days showing that clinical care access has not been comprised even though GPs are now facing more demands.