Having the right telephone nurse triage provider can make the difference between saving your company hundreds of dollars, or THOUSANDS of dollars each year. With an experienced triage service, the company will see reduced medical costs, less liability for medical decisions, protection or even lowering of the company’s E-mod rating, and even reduced Worker’s Comp Insurance policy cost overall. Timely filing of state forms and documentation achieve compliance as part of the process.
One of the most important facets of a triage service is the medical algorithms that are utilized for injury care. Despite having an RN on the phone with an injured employee, the RN is still following a medical guideline algorithm to determine the appropriate level of care for the injured worker. Many companies use a hospital-based algorithm, which is a general healthcare guideline and not specifically focused on injuries in the workplace. This type of medical algorithm begins from the assumption that the injured employee is already in the hospital, and the algorithm is determining where to send them next. A field-based medicine, or Military triage< approach is a much better fit for dealing with workplace injuries, as it is looking to get someone “back in action” as quickly as possible when medically prudent. If someone is in need of clinical care, this recommendation is made and the injured person is sent to a nearby clinic. However, with over 70% of workplace injuries, First Aid or Homecare are the appropriate level of care needed. Here is an analogy that will help make more sense of this: You are doing yardwork in the backyard over the weekend, and you pull a back muscle. Do you drop what you are doing and run to the nearest clinic? Most people would say no, and what they would do is take some ibuprofen, ice the area, and rest it for a few days until it is feeling better. So if we care for minor injuries like this on our own at home, why to employees want to run to a clinic for a similar injury? One reason is because the mentality of “the company has insurance for this sort of thing”. While this is true, the work comp world basically works like having a $15,000 deductible for each injury that occurs. So for each injury that occurs, the company pays the first $15,000 and also will see an increase in their work comp policy cost next year as well. Another issue to consider is that waiting at a clinic for care to hear the same advice that you could be given over the phone by a telephonic triage nurse is not an efficient approach. One call to the triage hotline will solve a large majority of these issues in a timely manner getting the worker back to their duties sooner, and helping to control company costs as well. Learn more about telephonic nurse triage online, and see how much impact a service like this could have for your company!