There is nothing quite as comforting as a nurse call button at your hospital bedside, or the immediate support that comes with it. This is why leaving the hospital after an extended stay can be a frightening experience for patients and caregivers alike. Without the security of a call button, patients and caregivers are left feeling anxious about the prospect of a future emergency even while enrolled in home health care or hospice.

Nurse call buttons come with the promise of nurse availability, whereas phone calls to nurse case managers can be missed, phone systems can go down, and voicemails may go unanswered. Then there are the phone queues and transfers, and few things are as disheartening or potentially dangerous during a crisis. Home health patients need and deserve the equivalent of the nurse call button while receiving care at home.

Hospitals vs Home Health and Hospice: A Forecast

The US has experienced a constant decline of inpatient hospital beds in registered hospitals since 1975, dropping by almost 40% to about 900K in 2014. Total admissions for that year were at about 35 million. Compare that to the patients who received home health care during 2013: about 5 million. That number was 1.5 million for hospice patients in the same year. These numbers may seem small in comparison to the total population, but both demographics are on the rise and are projected to overwhelm the healthcare industry soon.

Studies estimate that the US will be short upwards of 24,000 physicians by 2020, and by 2024, nearly 700,000 nurses will have left the labor force. Meanwhile, the population of senior citizens will increase by 75% by 2030: 69 million people. About 80% of that number will have at least one chronic condition.

As hospital staff and resources continue to decline, the need for quality home health and hospice care will become increasingly serious. In order to compete, your agency will need to know how to create an atmosphere in the patients’ homes that is just as comforting and reliable as the support they received while in the hospital.

Total Triage: Home Health’s Nurse Call Button

The goal of every home health and hospice agency is to minimize hospital readmissions, which means that patient anxieties must be proactively addressed to avoid unnecessary and costly 911 calls. Enter Total Triage, home health’s answer to the hospital’s nurse call button.

Total Triage is made possible by Total Triage, a revolutionary mobile application designed to empower home health nurses. In partnership with Total Triage developer, Total.Care, Afterhours Triage offers Total Triage as a 24/7 triage solution that essentially replaces the nurse call button your patients loved by eliminating all the pitfalls of traditional over-the-phone support.

So what does Total Triage with Total Triage do for the agencies who use it?

  • Displays field-nurse availability in real-time to other nurses
  • Routes and records in- and out-bound calls with patients and caregivers
  • Generates actionable reports
  • Allows patients and caregivers to bypass non-clinical answering services
  • Facilitates 24/7 connectivity between patients and nurses

What does it do for the nurses who use it?

  • Mitigates compassion fatigue for on-call nurses
  • Vets calls prior to transferring to on-call nurses
  • Resolves non-emergent calls over the phone
  • Allows optimal allocation of staff without overtaxing individual nurses

What does it do for patients and caregivers?

  • Facilitates streamlined connectivity to clinical support
  • Eases the anxieties that come with leaving the hospital
  • Offers an equivalent to the nurse call button
  • Escalates the level of care received, resulting in higher patient satisfaction
  • Provides comfort in times of stress

To begin offering your patients the security of a nurse call button in the home, contact Afterhours Triage today.