Tele-triage is like traditional triage but uses technology to supplement or replace elements of the patient interaction. Tele-triage involves screening patients remotely to determine the patient's condition and the care needed.
Tele-triage can be used in a variety of ways:
- Patient uses a web or app-based tool to enter their symptoms and get guidance on whether they need to seek additional treatment
- Patient connects from their home to a provider to discuss if they should come to the emergency department
- Patient is assessed upon entering the emergency department using a kiosk or video interaction with a provider
Benefits of tele-triage services:
- Reduces overcrowding in the emergency department.
- Reduces wait times and bottlenecks by processing patients more quickly.
- Provides rapid care to low-risk patient populations with low-risk health conditions.
- Reduces the number of patients who leave the emergency department without being treated.
- Supports patients in nursing homes, home health, and homeless shelters by providing a direct link to the emergency department to help decide if or when a patient needs to be transferred.
Tele-triage is especially important during COVID-19 to help:
- Screen patients for COVID-19 so patients who may be infected can be isolated.
In addition to the items on the getting started page, consider:
- What services your patients need
- What technology you will need to support your service — typically portable technology and adequate bandwidth
- What technical and medical staffing resources you will need for onsite and remote providers
- How you will conduct training for all staff involved in or interacting with the service
- Where to install signage and clearly marked paths for patients when using tele-triage at the entrance of the emergency department — where to go, tasks they need to do, where to wait, how to social distance
- What your requirements are and how you will handle informed consent
More information about tele-triage:
- Telehealth Triage How To Use Telehealth During COVID 19 (video) — from the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
- NCTRC Webinar - ETHAN: Emergency Telehealth and Navigation — from the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers
- Effectiveness of Remote Triage: A Systematic Review — from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development Service