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How Teletriage Improves Patient Access to Care 

how teletriage improves patient access to care

Injured workers deserve quick, quality assessment and treatment, but not every organization can support access to an onsite clinic at all hours. For these organizations, access to a teletriage line can help their workers get the care they need while overcoming some typical barriers. 

An injury triage program improves employees’ access to care in a variety of ways. 

Expanding Care Options in Remote Locations 

Not all organizations are centrally located in urban or suburban areas with easy access to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Many construction projects, manufacturing facilities and energy generation projects are, by nature, remotely located. This can limit an injured worker’s medical options, often resulting in them taking the remainder of the workday to visit an emergency room or even your team calling an expensive ambulance. 

When a worker’s injuries may only require simple first aid, this results in a lot of lost time and money that’s being spent unnecessarily. 

With a teletriage program, your workers can call the injury triage line from wherever they are, anytime day or night. They will be connected with a trained nurse who will utilize their experience and evidence-based triage algorithms to assess the worker’s condition. 

If the worker’s condition is determined by the injury triage nurse to only require basic first aid, the nurse can walk your team through administering the care over the phone. This allows your workers with minor injuries to return to their duties faster, and you avoid the cost of offsite care and potential workers’ compensation claims or OSHA recordables. 

For those workers whose condition does warrant additional treatment, the nurse can navigate them to the right level of care for their needs. Maybe that’s scheduling a next-day follow-up appointment with their personal doctor, or it could be care at an urgent care or emergency facility. In these situations, the teletriage line can help your worker find an in-network provider nearby, and even forwards notes about the worker’s condition and other basic information to that provider prior to the employee’s arrival. This expedites their access to appropriate care and helps ensure the offsite provider has as much information as possible before treating your employee. 

Overcoming Limitations of Small Size and Low Budget 

Onsite clinics require a significant amount of budgetary backing, something that isn’t always feasible for smaller businesses.  

Whether they just don’t have the money to support an onsite clinic, or they have a small staff that wouldn’t make a full-time clinic a viable option, this leaves workers at these organizations vulnerable to decreased access to crucial care. It also opens these organizations up to costs that may potentially outpace what would be spent on an onsite clinic when you add up the cost of offsite (often emergency) care, workers’ compensation claims and OSHA recordables that may stem from just one on-the-job injury. 

An injury triage program allows your workers access to skilled assessment without the limits of budget or small company size. They receive the experienced attention they need to get the right type of treatment, in the right type of facility, for their specific condition. 

Offering Immediate Injury Assessment 

Delaying care, even while waiting at an emergency room or on the drive to a medical facility, can decrease worker outcomes and delay their return to duties. Every hour that a worker isn’t on the job, you’re losing money — potentially thousands of dollars per hour depending on the employee’s responsibilities. 

By offering your injured workers immediate injury assessment, you’re getting them the help they need to heal quickly. For those workers whose injuries only require onsite first aid, that means they’ll only be away from their duties for a handful of minutes. Workers with more serious injuries can be promptly routed to a level of care suited to their needs, speeding up their access to a provider who can help them get better. 

Not only does faster assessment improve physical outcomes for your injured workers, it also can help boost their mental and emotional outcomes. Workers who are injured are more likely to become depressed than those with an injury not related to work, one study found. When your workers can get back on the job faster, they’re less likely to experience the negative mental and emotional impacts of occupational injuries, keeping them well and productive.  

Scaling Care Options to Your Needs 

Every organization is different, and that extends to occupational health needs. While one organization may have predictable staffing levels and standard Monday through Friday shifts, another may have teams working around the clock or scale their staffing up and down depending on the season. 

This makes it difficult for many organizations to provide onsite care for their employees. Where a traditional Monday through Friday, 40-hour week may be relevant for the company for most of the year, they may struggle to scale up the staffing levels or offerings during busier times of the year. 

With a teletriage program, however, your usage is scaled to your individual needs. If you have teams spread across the country, for example, everyone can have access to the injury triage line. Or, if you need to move to overnight shifts to handle a big project, injured workers can call nurse triage whenever they’re injured, even if it isn’t during standard business hours. 

The same can be said for scaling down your occupational health needs. When your staffing needs shrink, so will your need for and usage of an injury triage program. This option provides the flexibility many smaller teams need to receive excellent care without fitting into a set schedule or usage amount. 

Your Nationwide Teletriage Partner 

At Medcor, we believe in offering organizations of all sizes and types quality occupational healthcare solutions to meet their unique needs. Our teletriage program is utilized by companies of all sizes, some of which also have a permanent onsite clinic. Workers receive prompt, experienced care, 24/7, and you reduce your costs related to offsite care for work-related injuries. Speak with an advocate today to see if a teletriage program is right for your team.