NurseLine triages night, weekend and holiday patient and family caregiver calls over the phone, gathering necessary information, setting realistic patient expectations, and contacting the appropriate on call member of your hospice center’s interdisciplinary team when necessary. We work with you in a way that is transparent to patients using your protocols to provide telephone triage as a trusted extension of your center’s staff.
Many hospice agencies use dedicated on call nurses who work only weeknight and weekend on-call shifts. Often, these night-and-weekend-only nurses do both telephone triage and patient visits. A nurse doing both telephone triage and patient visits has the capacity to handle only a relatively small census.
When a nurse is out on a visit, triage response to patient and caregiver calls can sometimes slow or calls must be routed to a backup resource. As a hospice grows, the dedicated-night-and-weekend-only staffing model does not scale cost effectively, because a center has to hire incremental staff to care for a small increase in its patient population.
To scale on-call staff cost effectively, hospices can separate the patient visit function from the telephone triage function. Unless an agency has a very large census, a dedicated telephone triage nurse will likely be underutilized and cannot be cost justified. If a hospice uses a day shift nurse to also perform night and weekend telephone triage, they risk nurse burnout and turnover.
Hospices can partner with NurseLine to get a fractional telephone triage nurse to deliver extraordinary care to more patients with a higher degree of cost efficiency.