Healthcare continues to undergo a rapid shift toward virtual care solutions. Digital triage software, in particular, has gained significant popularity as an effective means of assessing and prioritizing patient needs remotely.
With the demand for digital triage services on the rise, it becomes crucial for health systems to choose a reliable and efficient virtual triage partner carefully. Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) demand knowledgeable, forward-thinking vendors with proven processes that can ensure regulatory compliance.
Here are 7 key factors that health systems should consider when selecting a virtual triage partner.
1. Clinical Expertise
One of the foremost considerations for health systems when choosing a virtual triage partner is the clinical expertise behind the digital health tool.
The partner organization should leverage qualified healthcare professionals – including doctors, nurses, and other specialists – with the knowledge and experience required to make accurate assessments and provide appropriate recommendations. For example, tools that leverage the nurse triage protocols of Dr. Barton Schmitt prioritize a standardized and evidence-based approach.
2. Technology and Infrastructure
A robust technology infrastructure is crucial for the seamless operation of digital triage software. Health systems should evaluate potential partners' technological capabilities, ensuring they have a secure and user-friendly platform that supports the automation of patient experiences and provider workflows, data management, and integration with electronic health records (EHRs).
Furthermore, the digital triage software should prioritize data privacy and security, adhering to industry standards and regulations to protect patient information.
3. Scalability and Customization
Health systems should assess potential virtual triage partners' scalability and customization options. As patient demand fluctuates, it is essential to have a partner who can accommodate varying volumes of patients without compromising the quality of care.
Additionally, the partner should offer flexibility to align their digital triage software with the health system's specific workflows, protocols, and branding, ensuring effective integration into existing processes.
4. Integration with Existing Systems
Frictionless integration with existing healthcare systems and technology stacks is critical to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of digital triage software. Health systems should look for a virtual triage partner that can integrate with their current systems (i.e. EHR, CRM, telephony, IVR), allowing for streamlined information exchange, access to patient history, and coordination with in-person care when necessary.
Integration capabilities ensure continuity of care, reduce administrative burden and enhance the overall patient experience.
5. Analytics and Reporting
Digital triage software should offer health systems comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities. Data-driven insights enable health systems to monitor key performance indicators, identify areas for improvement, and optimize their digital strategies over time.
Analytical tools and reports can provide valuable information on patient volumes, response times, outcomes, and patient satisfaction, helping health systems make informed decisions and refine their virtual triage strategies.
6. Multichannel Communication
Effective communication channels are vital for successful virtual triage. Health systems should choose a partner that offers clinically validated communication and prompts to ensure regulatory compliance. The digital triage software should be intuitive and user-friendly, facilitating accurate and efficient communication between healthcare providers and patients, irrespective of their technical proficiency.
7. Continuous Support and Training
An ongoing partnership with a virtual triage provider should include comprehensive support and training. Health systems should evaluate the support mechanisms offered by potential partners, such as 24/7 customer service, technical assistance, and educational resources for both healthcare providers and patients.
Regular training sessions can help healthcare staff stay updated on best practices, platform updates, and evolving clinical guidelines, ensuring consistent and high-quality virtual triage services.
Solid Partnership is Your Key to Digital Triage Success
As virtual triage becomes integral to modern healthcare, choosing the right partner is crucial for health systems looking to deliver optimal care.
By prioritizing clinical expertise, technology infrastructure, scalability, integration capabilities, analytics, multichannel communication, and continuous support, health systems can select a virtual triage partner that aligns with their goals and enhances patient care.
Clearstep's digital triage software and healthcare AI chatbot allow patients to check symptoms, view care options, compare prices, and book care online. In multiple clinical accuracy studies, Clearstep has demonstrated greater than 95% triage accuracy in recommending users to accurate points of care.
If you believe your health system could benefit from our clinically-validated digital triage software, contact us anytime.