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5 FAQs About Injury Triage 

FAQs about injury triage

Telephonic injury triage is utilized by employers of all sizes and types. It may be an organization’s sole occupational health solution, serving workers on all shifts and at all locations, or it could be part of a larger slate of services. 

If you’re considering adding injury triage to your occupational healthcare program, here are five common questions answered for you. 

1. How Does Telephonic Injury Triage Work? 

Injury triage is a pre-claim solution that helps injured workers get to the right level of care for their needs, no matter when or where they are working. Providing workers access to skilled injury triage nurses helps those who don’t require care from an emergency room or urgent care facility manage their injuries and return to work, while ensuring those workers who do require offsite care get to the right type of care for their needs. 

Here’s the typical process of telephonic injury triage: 

1. A worker is injured and they notify their supervisor. 

2. The employee, their supervisor or another individual calls the triage line. 

3. They are connected directly with a skilled, trained triage nurse. 

4. The nurse takes the details of the worker’s injuries and the incident that led to them, putting those details into injury triage algorithms. 

5. If the worker’s condition is determined to be manageable by first aid, the triage nurse walks the caller through the first aid steps required. 

6. If the worker requires offsite care, the triage nurse makes a recommendation of the type of care required (calling 911, emergency room or urgent care facility, for example). They can help the worker find the nearest in-network facility to meet their needs, if necessary, and forward information collected during the injury triage call to that facility. 

Reports of all injury triage calls, the nurse’s recommendations and other details are available to you as soon as the call is completed.  

2. What Are the Benefits of Injury Triage for Employers and Employees? 

Having an injury triage program will benefit your workers and your business in a variety of ways. 

Benefits for Employees 

  • Quick access to quality care: The longer an injured worker has to wait to get their injuries assessed, the greater a delay in getting the right type of care. By dialing an injury triage line right from work, they can get a quick answer on their condition and, if appropriate, begin first aid. 
  • An advocate for their needs: Injury triage nurses are there solely to ensure the worker gets the right level of care for their condition, free of any conflicts, contracts or reimbursement amounts. This gives the worker an advocate on their side so they aren’t receiving too much or too little care. 
  • Prepared for a safe return: Understanding all the directions and requirements needed to return to work following even a minor injury can be frustrating. With injury triage, workers have someone who can walk them through the whole process, answering any questions they may have and ensuring they’re ready to get back to their duties safely. 
  • Keeps them on the job: Offsite care often means a worker is taken off the job, potentially for a full day even when it’s unnecessary. Getting the care they need quickly and without having to leave work means workers don’t miss their shifts and aren’t sent for unnecessary time off or modified duty, which improves their overall injury outcomes. 

Having an injury triage line available for injured workers also holds many benefits for you as an employer. 

Benefits for Employers 

  • Reduces costs: Sending every worker offsite for care is expensive, especially if workers receive care that’s inappropriate for their conditions. Having an injury triage nurse as the first port of call for all injured workers ensures only those who truly need offsite care are sent, and they can be navigated to the proper in-network facility for their injuries, decreasing your costs. 
  • Improves worker outcomes: The faster a worker receives assessment for their injuries, the faster they can begin to heal. When workers are sent to the right type of care for their needs — either onsite first aid or an offsite medical facility — they can begin to heal more quickly and, in turn, their overall outcomes can be improved. 
  • Reduces OSHA recordables and workers’ comp claims: In many cases, workers who are sent for offsite care will trigger an OSHA recordable and/or a workers’ compensation claim. This means your costs will explode if workers with minor burns, sprains and other injuries that can be treated with first aid are always sent for offsite care. Routing only those whose injuries truly require additional care to offsite facilities is one of the best ways to reduce your rates of OSHA recordables and workers comp claims. 
  • Improves worker productivity: Every worker injury can mean your team’s overall productivity takes a hit, but the impact is greater when workers are sent to a medical facility. Keeping more workers onsite after minor injuries helps keep worker productivity high and allows you to avoid work stoppages. 

3. How Secure and Confidential Is the Information Shared During an Injury Triage Call? 

Like with any situation where individual medical information is collected and stored, privacy and confidentiality is a concern. 

Injury triage lines are bound by the same privacy regulations that other medical records holders are, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Personal worker information is kept securely stored within a records system that adheres to the strictest standards for privacy and security. The best injury triage providers ensure they exceed these standards by pursuing audits, such as SOC2, so your workers’ data is protected. 

4. What Types of Injuries Can Be Assessed Through Telephonic Injury Triage? 

An injury triage line can serve as the first stop for all employees who experience and illness or injury on the job. If you or your workers are unsure whether medical care is needed, or what type of medical care is suitable, an injury triage nurse can ask questions and help guide them to the correct level of care. 

In situations where a worker’s condition is severe, the injury triage nurse may advise calling an ambulance or taking the worker directly to an emergency room. For less severe situations, they may recommend an urgent care facility or other medical professional, or they may be able to walk your workers through onsite first aid. 

Thanks to the triage algorithms and each individual nurse’s experience, workers can be capably navigated to the right type of care for their needs straight from an injury triage call. 

5. How Can Employers Implement Injury Triage in Their Workplaces? 

Injury triage can serve as all or part of your occupational healthcare program. Its place in your organization will be determined by your individual needs, your budget and the types of injuries your workers often experience. 

For teams that may be more spread out, such has delivery drivers or a business with multiple locations, injury triage may be the best choice for your whole occupational healthcare program. Workers of all shifts and at all locations can call the triage line when they need it, gaining access to skilled guidance to the right type of care. 

If your workforce is centrally located with many working a main 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift, but you want a solution for those workers who may occasionally travel or third shift teams, you may pair injury triage with an onsite clinic or other similar occupational healthcare program. This allows you to provide quality care to all your workers while overcoming certain logistical challenges. 

Your Injury Triage Partner 

At Medcor, we have years of experience offering 24/7 injury triage to organizations of all shapes and sizes, either as their whole occupational health program or as part of a larger system of worker care. Our nurses have years of experience and specialized training that allows them to capably navigate injured workers to the right level of care, at the right time and in the right place. See what injury triage can do for your organization. Speak with a Medcor advocate today.