Category Archives: Industry News

News for the healthcare contact center industry

American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing to Host Virtual 2020 Conference



The pandemic has intensified the need for nurses to have the most up-to-date education possible. To ensure that they stay informed about such topics as telehealth/teletriage, infection control, vaccination, policy, and leadership, the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) announced a 2020 virtual conference to be live-streamed on four consecutive Tuesdays beginning July 28, followed by extended on-demand access.

The virtual conference will keep much of the content originally planned for an in-person event in Chicago, and will feature live sessions as well as virtual networking, exhibit hall, poster presentations, and chat lobbies. Attendees can earn up to thirteen continuing nursing education (CNE) contact hours for the full conference, plus the opportunity for bonus CNE.

“Like many other organizations, we switched to a virtual format for safety and travel reasons,” AAACN president Kristene Grayem, MSN, CNS, PPCNP-BC, RN-BC, said. “While the nurses will miss being together, the virtual format has some distinct advantages. Our speakers can present the latest information, which is a huge advantage right now because everything is changing so dramatically. The online format also gives attendees flexibility if they need to watch later due to busy schedules.”

Grayem said conference planners are still in the process of finalizing sessions and other details, but those who are interested in attending can visit the AAACN website.

“This will be a very interactive event,” Grayem said. “Connecting and networking are very important, so we are designing the conference so attendees can engage with each other, as well as speakers and exhibitors. They’ll also be able to maximize their CNE value, with extended online access to all the sessions for two years.”

The conference live broadcasts will take place on the following Tuesdays:

  • July 28, 11 am–6:15 pm ET (preconference sessions)
  • August 4, 12 pm–5 pm ET (opening general session on COVID-19 and infectious disease; breakouts)
  • August 11, 12 pm–5:30 pm ET (interactive Town Hall on COVID-19; breakouts)
  • August 18, 12 pm–5:30 pm ET (breakouts; closing general session on mindfulness)

The extended access for all registrants will be posted in the AAACN online library. 

The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing is a welcoming, unifying community for registered nurses in all ambulatory care settings. AAACN is devoted to advancing the art and science of ambulatory care nursing. Learn more at www.aaacn.org, aaacn@aaacn.org, or 800-262-6877.

COVID-19 Hotline Screens Patients and Connects Them to Physicians

The governor of New Jersey has decided to offer a COVID-19 hotline in the state to help address the pandemic and the challenges it brings. Implementing emergency support solutions like a 24/7 hotline provides Governor Phil Murphy and his administration the tools they need to help burdened hospitals and identify patients who need further care. New Jersey has equipped themselves with operators to screen callers, and they have an option for automated screening using CDC based guidelines. The operators connect the patients to an NDS physician if further testing and treatment is needed.

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, cities, counties, and states like New Jersey have realized that changes must be made to accommodate the influx of patients that doctors and hospitals see. Considering the challenges that the coronavirus brings, many healthcare organizations have set up COVID-19 hotlines. These hotlines answer frequent questions and screen patients to either direct them to the care they need or reassure them that it’s safe to stay home. Telephone triage companies help these hotlines by screening patients with a fully automated system and sending information about the patients to providers when a further medical visit is appropriate.

The Benefits

Balancing workloads and optimizing time management for doctors and nurses at a time like this is vital for an effective community response. It’s important to understand that parsing or deciphering between sick patients and those who just need reassurance is a big part of navigating this pandemic successfully. Because of this, cities, counties, and states need the capability to screen patients based on established guidelines with trained, non-nurse staff or with a fully automated system.

It’s no secret that many people today prefer to use their smart phones or computers instead of placing a phone call. Many organizations that understand this strive to make systems for screening and information accessible and easy to use. In addition to being user friendly, fully or partly automated phone lines can save countless man-hours and cut costs. Telephone triage lines have seen call volume skyrocket since the onset of the coronavirus, overwhelming call centers and multiplying phone line costs.

With so many callers, calls cannot be taken in real time and caller information is delayed in getting to healthcare providers. A remote patient communication system ensures that pertinent information is collected and relayed to the proper caregiver promptly. The automated system that New Jersey has implemented avoids these extra costs and collects more of the patient information that providers would need to follow up, all while maintaining social distancing.

How it Works

A good telephone triage company will set up a custom screening process in conjunction with the medical director of the organization. The screening process should be client-specific and customizable.

Then a custom screening tool based on the state’s or municipality’s requirements should be built. Users would come to a website and access a link or can call a hotline number to speak to an agent. The patient information as well as the results of their screening should be captured in a HIPAA compliant system.

Users should be sent information based on their questions. The users who need further care should have their information sent to the appropriate physician for follow-up.

Patients who show symptoms of COVID-19 and need testing will need a visit with a telehealth doctor—of the state or municipality’s choosing—to be evaluated further or to get a prescription for testing if indicated.

TriageLogic

Products like TriageLogic use triage protocol and demographic data in compilation with a client-specific algorithm that separates distinct kinds of patients and funnels them through the correct channels to an appropriate provider. The process is concise, saving healthcare organizations the most valuable resource of all: time. 

Making this careful triage easily available to its citizens helps states, like New Jersey, manage the incursion of sick patients they are likely to see or have already seen. A telephone triage system can help support communities by offering the same remote systems that New Jersey has implemented

Amtelco Wins Top Workplaces 2020 Award

Amtelco received a Top Workplaces 2020 honor and a special award for work/life flexibility by The Wisconsin State Journal. These awards are based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage.

Amtelco, founded in 1976, has been developing reliable communication systems and applications backed by the company’s dedication to customer support. Amtelco’s 1Call healthcare division began in 1997. Hospitals and businesses have used their miSecureMessages secure messaging app widely since 2011.

Tom Curtin the president of Amtelco said, ‘We truly believe that our customers and employees are extended family and that culture is what fuels our business success.’ Click To Tweet

“My father, Bill Curtin, II founded Amtelco in 1976. We have always been family-owned and managed through multiple generations of our family who care for and understand our customers’ business.” said Tom Curtin, president of Amtelco. “We truly believe that our customers and employees are extended family and that culture is what fuels our business success. Each employee clearly sees how their work contributes to our business objectives, which ensures that all employees feel connected to one another and to our mission. Being named in the Top Workplace list is a testament to the importance of continually making our company culture a top priority.”

The anonymous survey uniquely measures fifteen drivers of engaged cultures that are critical to the success of any organization, such as alignment, execution, and connection. “The Top Workplaces award has helped organizations stand out among their competitors to attract talent,” said Eric Rubino, CEO of Energage. “This differentiation is more important than ever in today’s tight labor market. No longer is recognition simply a much-deserved cause for celebration, but it’s fast becoming mission-critical to establish a competitive advantage for recruitment and retention.”

1Call, a division of Amtelco

Amtelco is a trusted name in call center communication systems, software applications, and XDS technologies for call centers, contact centers, healthcare facilities, higher education facilities, executive suites, and developers. Amtelco systems and software process millions of telephone calls every day by operations in all fifty US states and more than twenty other countries. Founded in 1976, Amtelco is a family-owned company that has grown to 135 employees. For more information contact Amtelco at info@amtelco.com or 800-356-9148.

Protocols Updated to Cover Coronavirus


TriageLogic

To address Coronavirus concerns, Doctors Schmitt and Thompson have updated their Clinical Content protocols. The coronavirus protocols include appropriate questions to screen patients who may be at risk as well as dispositions based on symptoms and exposure. The protocols also contain pertinent information from a public health reporting perspective to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

The coronavirus protocols include appropriate questions to screen patients who may be at risk as well as dispositions based on symptoms and exposure. Click To Tweet

Coronavirus is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, first detected in China, has now been diagnosed throughout most of the world. The virus is named SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes has been named coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated COVID-19. On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. 

At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. According to the CDC, nonpharmaceutical interventions are the most important response strategy. As the virus outbreak continues to evolve, TriageLogic will provide its clients with the latest information to allow for the best-possible patient care. 

TriageLogic

Contact TriageLogic if you have questions about their protocols or if you would like their triage nurses to be available to answer your patient phone calls. To learn more about COVID-19, see information from the World Health Organization

TriageLogic Implements Emergency COVID-19 Hotlines and Remote Care Solutions


TriageLogic

TriageLogic announced easy-to-implement solutions that hospitals, medical organizations, and health centers can use for patient care during the COVID-19 crisis. As the healthcare sector adapts to the coronavirus pandemic, many medical professionals work around the clock to implement emergency support solutions for patients who present worrying symptoms, as well as those who need help understanding the guidelines for care. 

A COVID19 hotline is available 24/7 to screen patient questions, provide information, and follow scripts on behalf of specific practices and medical groups. Click To Tweet

The following solutions have minimal implementation time requirements:

  • A Coronavirus-trained hotline is available 24/7 to screen patient questions, provide information, and follow scripts on behalf of specific practices and medical groups. With a significant increase in patient calls, the ability to discern which ones require additional medical attention and which are only seeking advice is paramount to a functional office staff. 
  • Nurse triage software with Covid-19 protocols, through MyTriageChecklist, is a fast-to-train, web-enabled software that provides continuity in patient care and education. It takes less than an hour to implement, does not store any sensitive patient information, and offers an easy-to-use interface to ensure nurses consistently ask and document all relevant questions related to patient symptoms. 
  • Remote call center with phone system can enable your certified nurses to work at any location connected to a call center-grade, HIPAA-compliant phone system. This allows an organization to keep their clinical staff at home and coordinate as a team to remotely evaluate patients.

“We are working around the clock to help our current clients as well as other health centers put processes in place to help patients and concerned callers. We are also working with remote monitoring companies to have a process in place to help patients at risk, or after a hospitalization at their homes,” said TriageLogic’s Ravi Raheja, MD.

TriageLogic

TriageLogic offers easy to implement solutions for healthcare organizations to address the COVID-19 crisis. This includes setting up information hotlines, giving nurses the tools to evaluate patients over the phone, and helping set up remote call center phone systems. Visit www.triagelogic.com for more information or email info@triagelogic.com.

Implementing Virtual Call Centers with Telehealth Systems to Address COVID-19


TriageLogic

TriageLogic announced a quick-to-deploy and easy-to-use telehealth system with a virtual call center that hospitals, medical organizations, and health centers can use for patient care during the COVID-19 crisis.

As health organizations adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, they look for a system they can deploy quickly for staff and nurses to work remotely to set up doctor visits, answer patient questions, evaluate their symptoms, and determine who needs further evaluation by a doctor. Team members can communicate with their physicians and set up two-way video visits using secure, HIPAA-compliant texting options that do not require the use of a mobile app. This allows the remote hospital associates to set up and coordinate telehealth visits for doctors instead of in-person visits.

Nurses can also be included in the solution by having COVID-19 and other medical protocols available in a web-based system. The information from the phone call can be exported to the hospital’s EMR system or be integrated with Salesforce.

TriageLogic was able to set up a telehealth system within a couple of days for our nurses and doctors to work remotely and continue their medical visits. Click To Tweet

TriageLogic can deploy the following solutions related to sending staff home:

  • Cloud-based HIPAA compliant call center telephony system for coordination of remote staff
  • Phone system to connect remote workers with queueing and full contact center capability
  • COVID-19 nurse triage protocols for use with existing EMR or CRM such as Salesforce
  • Web-based triage software with COVID-19 and other protocols
  • Coordination of telemedicine visits between non-clinical, nurses, and doctors in client EMR
  • TriageLogic assists in recommending efficient workflow and implementation of two-way video visits

Additional solutions such as a fully staffed COVID-19 hotline and remote patient monitoring are also available. “TriageLogic was able to set up a telehealth system within a couple of days for our nurses and doctors to work remotely and continue their medical visits,” said Melinda, director of PPM business operations for a large children’s hospital.

TriageLogic

Visit www.TriageLogic.com or email info@triagelogic.com for more information.

1Call Offers Free Licensing to Customers and Advice in Response to COVID-19 Crisis


1Call-call center

1Call, a division of Amtelco, announced the offering of free licensing to their customers during COVID-19.

“1Call has recently expanded its mission statement, adding ‘It’s All About the Why,’ said Tom Curtin, president of Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. “This has been implemented company-wide to reaffirm the reasons why we do what we do through the original company motto created in 1976—to provide the most innovative solutions backed by the industry’s best customer support.”

1Call is offering free operator, supervisor, and call recording licenses to all customers to assist with the increased call volumes because of the COVID-19 virus. They are also advising their customers on how to leverage their existing 1Call solutions during this crisis. 

Examples include:

  • Implementing a work from home model using a concurrent licensing structure and free additional licensing offer
  • Creating new custom codes specific to COVID-19
  • Utilizing 1Call software’s inherent skills-based call routing tool to ensure specific calls go to the right operators
  • Producing new scripted workflows to help guide new operators through any scenario
  • Leveraging group messaging and mass notification capabilities, which references directory listings, on-call schedules, statuses, and preferred contact methods
  • Recording new automated greetings and pre-call announcements to guide callers to the appropriate departments
1Call, a division of Amtelco

1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide healthcare communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and help them bring wellness to their patients and their bottom line. For more information visit 1Call.com and contact them at 800-225-6035 or info@1call.com.

TriageLogic Offers Remote Patient Monitoring

TriageLogic announced it will apply its thirteen years of industry-leading phone triage experience in the emerging remote patient monitoring (RPM) market. As monitoring technologies continue to gain traction, the healthcare industry views RPM as a tool to help control the cost of care for those with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure, COPD, asthma, and diabetes.

TriageLogic announced it will apply its thirteen years of industry-leading phone triage experience in the emerging remote patient monitoring (RPM) market. Click To Tweet

Monitoring devices collect large amounts of patient data—blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and more. Each device has its own data algorithm that flags abnormal conditions. Results from these devices are typically displayed on dashboards provided by the device company. A physician or their staff that’s monitoring multiple patients with multiple conditions would need to spend a significant amount of time reviewing every dashboard regularly. This is time taken away from face-to-face patient care.

“Digital health technology is sophisticated and has tremendous potential to help patients better manage their health,” said Ravi Raheja, M.D., TriageLogic medical director and CTO. “However, the amount of data that’s generated is vast. A medically trained professional must review the information and evaluate it in the context of the individual to determine the appropriate action. We have the history, experience, and trained nursing staff to review this data,” said Raheja.

TriageLogic is working with physicians and device companies to bridge the gap that exists between the mountains of data generated by health technology devices and the decisions that need to be made in support of better health.

All monitoring takes place behind the scenes and is seamless to patients. A patient simply uses their device as directed by their physician. TriageLogic’s registered nurses evaluate any alerts or deviations registered by the devices. The patient then receives a call from a TriageLogic nurse who will provide instructions for follow-up care. On January 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved reimbursement for some virtual care monitoring, opening the door for more patients to request RPM.

“Most physicians don’t have the time or resources to monitor dashboards for multiple devices,” said Raheja. “TriageLogic’s resources allow physicians to do what they’re best at—spend quality face-to-face time with those who truly need medical intervention. We work closely with each physician group to ensure we understand their preferences and custom care -plans for patients with chronic disease.”

TriageLogic

TriageLogic is a technology-based service provider of remote patient monitoring services and quality telehealth solutions, including comprehensive after-hours call center services and innovative online systems for use in institutional and private practice settings. TriageLogic provides patient call solutions for more than 9,000 physicians and helps manage the care of more than eighteen million individuals.

TeamHealth Medical Call Center Rebrands as AccessNurse

Started in 1996 to support TeamHealth physicians, TeamHealth Medical Call Center evolved over time, outgrowing its brand identity and core message, which is a natural part of every dynamic, growing business. Now, more than two decades later, they have evolved to become a premiere provider of medical call center solutions, offering services to more than fifteen thousand providers in individual and group practices, hospital systems, universities, community health centers, and other medical organizations across the United States. Today they are more dynamic than ever, and their new brand of AccessNurse reflects this reality.

AccessNurse, A TeamHealth Company

Since their conception, providing access to medical care has been the underlying theme and pulse of the call center. Woven into every fabric of their new brand is the word access: from their story to how they treat clients and their patients. The new AccessNurse name is a textual representation of what they offer, believe in, and represent: providing clients and patients with 24/7 access to definitive nurse care. They also supplement this new name with the tagline, “A TeamHealth Company” to reinforce their alignment with TeamHealth and the medical integrity, experience, and resources that go along with that relationship.

1Call Expands Architecture Solutions Team to Support Growing Customer Base

1Call, a division of Amtelco and a leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace, announced the promotion of Amber Schroedl to solutions architect.

“Amber has been a key part of our success, and brings a unique, real-world set of skills to our department,” said Kevin Mahoney, director of solutions architecture. “We are thrilled to promote her to this important position and serve our customers better by reducing implementation and go-live times.

The Solutions Architecture Team supports existing and potential customers by performing live product demonstrations, providing custom documentation and templates, and validating customer’s voice, data, internet, and cloud computing application requirements to ensure effective use of all communication solutions.

1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide healthcare communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and make them tremendously efficient by helping them bring wellness to their patients and their bottom line. 

1Call, a division of Amtelco

For more information visit www.1Call.com.