Amtelco Announces an Apple Interface Redesign for the miSecureMessages App


Amtelco and their 1Call healthcare division announced the release of an updated Apple Interface for version 7.0 of their miSecureMessages secure messaging app.

This revamped interface is designed to improve the user experience to help speed critical communications. Updates include the following:

  • Passwords and Passcodes – Complexity requirements are displayed above the text field when creating new passwords and passcodes. Met requirements are displayed in strikethrough text. Icons are used to show or hide text when typing in password and passcode fields.
  • Menu Drawer – Updates made to the menu drawer make it easier to view user profile information, navigate the various pages of the app, and access other accounts.
  • Icons and Toolbars – Icons and toolbars throughout the app have been updated to improve their visuals and functionality.
  • High-Contrast Theme Colors – High-contrast theme colors were added to make it easier for those with visual impairments such as color blindness to see and interact with the elements on the screen.
  • Watch App Interface – The Apple Watch® app user interface has been redesigned. Buttons, icons, and fonts on each screen were updated to match the corresponding screens in the phone app.

“The miSecureMessages Apple Phone App and Watch App user interface (UI) has received a comprehensive visual overhaul,” said Jessy Mohns-Scanlan, product manager for the R&D Software Department of Amtelco, “Design elements such as fonts, icons, and buttons were updated to better reflect Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), several screens have been modified to be easier to navigate, and new theme colors were added to increase user accessibility and customization.”

miSecureMessages was originally created for the healthcare industry but can be used by any business that needs to communicate securely. In healthcare, the app helps to unify hospital and clinical communications and streamline care team coordination by enabling staff to easily share texts, photos, audio files, and videos for secure, accurate communication while protecting electronic patient health information (ePHI).

Improved communication within any hospital department using miSecureMessages include the following:

  • The app seamlessly integrates with other 1Call applications to communicate with nurse call systems and other alert software to expedite emergency code notifications.
  • Healthcare contact center operators use miSecureMessages to contact on-call staff quickly.
  • Hospital maintenance crews can take a photo or video of a building issue and collaborate to address it. Housekeeping uses the app for bed management to quickly inform intake that a bed is ready for a new patient, improving their bed turnover rate.
  • Lab personnel and radiologists use miSecureMessages to communicate critical results promptly.

HIPAA and HITECH-compliant miSecureMessages is a secure messaging application developed by 1Call for hospitals and clinics. The app provides end-to-end encryption that enables staff to securely send and receive texts, photos, audio, and video files.

1Call, a division of Amtelco

The 1Call Division of Amtelco is the leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace. 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and make them tremendously efficient, helping them bring wellness to their members and their bottom line.

The November 2023 Issue of Medical Call Center News

Read the November 2023 issue of Medical Call Center News.

Medical Call Center News is an e-newsletter published by Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc, in conjunction with AnswerStat magazine.

Please tell your coworkers about Medical Call Center News.

Thank you!

[Medical Call Center News is published by Peter DeHaan Publishing IncPeter Lyle DeHaan, editor.]

October 2023 Issue of AnswerStat

Read the October 2023 issue of AnswerStat, the information hub for healthcare contact centers.

Feature Content:

Nurse Triage for Morbidity and Mortality, by Ravi K. Raheja, MD
Whether your nurse triage is in-house or outsourced, see how you can reduce morbidity and mortality rates. . . . << read more >>

Vital Signs: 6 Keys to Produce a Happy and Effective Workforce, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Address these critical items to better retain staff and serve callers. . . << read more >>

Case Study: Providence Swedish, by Nicole Limpert
Learn how Providence Swedish improves on-call communication delays and code call workflows with web-based platforms. . . << read more >>

This Healthcare Tool Can Empower Staff with Medical Message Intake, by Ravi K. Raheja, MD
A tool that establishes a means to streamline patient calls so that front desk staff members can effectively manage patients, both over the phone and in-person. . . . << read more >>

Ten Years Ago: Tips to Reduce New Agent Turnover, by Bob Cowen
Improve retention to reduce turnover, decrease hiring and training costs, and increase agent job satisfaction. . . . << read more >>

Marketplace Directory: AnswerStat listing of leading Healthcare Contact Center Vendors

LVM - Healthcare Contact Centers
Startel first impressions are everything
Keona Health
Patients Count: Enterprise patient feedback solution

Send us your healthcare call center news and articles for consideration in the next issue of AnswerStat.

About AnswerStat
AnswerStat is the information hub for healthcare contact center news and resources, published specifically for hospital and medical contact centers and distributed free to qualified readers, decision-makers, and influencers at hospitals and healthcare contact centers worldwide.

Contact us for more information.

This Healthcare Tool Can Empower Staff with Medical Message Intake


By Ravi K. Raheja, MD

The healthcare industry continues to suffer a labor shortage that could have considerable long-term effects, with some estimates showing the United States could have a deficit of 124,000 physicians in the next decade. But finding enough doctors and nurses isn’t the only concern. Practices are also experiencing difficulty maintaining nonclinical staff for their medical message intake. These positions—either at the front desks of practices or in medical call centers—are going unfulfilled due to the demanding nature of their roles. The good news is that technology offers a solution that can entice more people to apply for these positions and train them quickly.

Changes in Healthcare Since COVID-19

It’s no secret that the pandemic took a heavy toll on the healthcare industry. It expedited the transition to telehealth services for many providers, led to widespread physician and nurse burnout, and caused many patients to question their health symptoms and whether or not they should seek in-person care. Furthermore, nurses shifting to higher-paying travel positions also added another layer of complexity to practice staffing issues.

Now, even with COVID-19 considered endemic and many workers getting reaccustomed to in-person care, the healthcare community is still trying to find the resources and staff members needed to maintain or scale their services.

These staffing concerns have trickled down to nonclinical front desk workers who are having to pick up some of the slack involved with patient documentation and medical message intake. They have to be able to help patient callers by relaying messages about their symptoms, as well as assist patients who are physically present for evaluations. However, because they aren’t medically trained, these front desk workers can easily miss symptoms that indicate when these patients’ cases are more severe than they’re letting on. That’s where technology solutions like MedMessage Assist can serve them best.

A Technology Solution for Medical Answering Services

To ensure they don’t miss any details, nonclinical operators such as front desk workers can use MedMessage Assist (MMA) as a real-time symptom-analysis tool when completing their medical message intake. Developed by TriageLogic, this program utilizes augmented intelligence to review the text that workers type while they’re listening to patient callers. When it identifies a symptom that could indicate a more severe condition, it generates follow-up questions to ask the patient. With an accuracy rating of over 99 percent, MMA ensures that when the message is relayed to a triage nurse, it has all the information needed to correctly identify patient concerns as nonurgent, urgent, or emergent.

MMA also establishes a means of streamlining patient calls so that front desk staff members can effectively manage patients, both over the phone and in-person. In turn, this decreases medical malpractice liability, as it avoids the potential for lawsuits like this one, involving a Wisconsin doctor who faced a malpractice lawsuit for not returning the phone call of a patient who later died. Implementing MMA can significantly enhance the overall patient experience and reduce legal risks for healthcare providers.

Finally, MMA empowers nonclinical operators with confidence for handling patient calls, recording accurate messages, and balancing their time with other priorities. This improves employee retention and can also be a hiring perk for future nonclinical applicants. Furthermore, this solution includes self-guided training, which reduces the onboarding period for new operators by up to two weeks.

See How MedMessage Assist Can Work for Your Organization

MedMessage Assist operates as a stand-alone module or can be integrated with existing software in order to improve the accuracy of your practice’s medical message intake. It also comes with high-level cybersecurity and meets all standards of HIPAA-compliance.

If you’d like to see how it can benefit your practice, contact us today to schedule a demonstration.


Ravi K. Raheja, MD, is the CTO and Medical Director of the TriageLogic Group. Founded in 2007, TriageLogic is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of high-quality telehealth services, remote patient monitoring, nurse triage, triage education, and software for telephone medicine. Their comprehensive solutions include integrated mobile access and two-way video capability. The TriageLogic group serves more than nine thousand physicians and covers more than 25 million lives nationwide.

Are you ready to improve medical message intake and your patient health outcomes? Email us at to schedule a 15-minute demo. You may also qualify for a free trial of MedMessage Assist.

Six Keys to Produce a Happy and Effective Workforce

Address These Critical Items to Better Retain Staff and Serve Callers

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

Operating a successful call center in the healthcare industry is hard. There is a never-ending tension to balance the expectations of patients and callers with the needs of operational staff, all the while remaining fiscally viable.

Here are six tips to help you produce a happy and effective workforce to keep your operation running smoothly and efficiently.

1. Compensation Package

I’ve never talked with anyone who thinks they’re overpaid. And only a few people ever think they receive appropriate pay. Most think they deserve more.

Ask any call center employee what’s most important to them in their work, and they’ll likely say their compensation. They work to earn money so they can cover their needs and wants. Though their actual paycheck is a big part of their compensation package, they’re also looking for other benefits such as healthcare coverage and provisions for time off, including vacation, sick days, and personal time.

Though you could bust your budget trying to provide the compensation package your employees think they deserve and expect you to provide, you don’t need to do so if you address other, less tangible workplace-related items.

Providing a competitive compensation package, along with covering the next five items, will help you produce a happy and effective workforce.

2. Managerial Support

Employees want to feel the support of their supervisors and managers. This starts with listening to what they say and showing them you care.

Let them know you understand what it’s like to answer phone calls all day long. You do know this, right? When they see you periodically sit down and take calls like the rest of them, it will do much to garner their attention and gain their respect.

3. Appreciation

Most managers say they appreciate their staff. But how often do they take the time to actually tell their employees? How often do they do things to show it?

This doesn’t need to be anything expensive or spectacular. I once had a boss who each payday would look me in the eye, hand me my paycheck, and say, “Thank you.” He did this for every employee. I was often frustrated with him in other areas, but I had no doubt he appreciated me and my work. Though this might be hard to implement if your call center operates 24/7, look for creative ways to produce the same results. And if your staff receives their pay and documentation electronically, look for other opportunities to make eye contact and sincerely say, “Thank you.”

4. Scheduling

Appropriately staffing a call center is a tricky issue. You need to have the right number of people working to efficiently handle the calls and other communications that come in. If you don’t have enough people present, those who are there will end their shift exhausted, frazzled, and frustrated. Yet if you have too many people working, your labor costs will escalate, and you’ll be over budget. Seek to find a scheduling balance that doesn’t overwork your staff or tax your budget.

When developing a schedule, be considerate of the needs of your employees. If they rely on public transportation to get to work, don’t schedule them on days or times when they’ll have trouble getting to work or making it home. If they go to school, be sure to work around their schedule.

5. Workload

Call center employees who move continuously from one call to the next throughout their entire shift are less likely—and less able—to give their best to every caller every time. They’ll soon grow immune to the number of calls in queue and plod through their day from one call to the next. However, if they have too much idle time between calls, they’ll become bored, and their focus will wane. This doesn’t provide for good customer service either.

Instead, strive to develop a schedule that will give your call center staff a balanced workload that is just right—neither too busy nor too slow. It will make their shift go by quicker and produce better results.

6. Shared Vision

This final item is by no means the least important. In fact, when you and your call center staff share a compelling vision about what you’re doing and what you want to accomplish, the first five points on this list become less important. This doesn’t mean you can ignore those items, but when you have a shared vision with your staff, they may be a bit more open to overlooking shortcomings in other areas.


Though it takes work to produce a happy and effective workforce for your call center, it can happen. Follow these six tips to move you closer to achieving that goal.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.

Case Study | Providence Swedish


Improving On-Call Communication Delays and Code Call Workflows with Web-Based Platforms

By Nicole Limpert

Swedish Health Services was founded as Swedish Hospital in 1910 by an immigrant from Sweden named Dr. Nils August Johanson. Over the years, the campus expanded and merged with other health systems to become Swedish Health Services. It is the largest nonprofit health provider in the Seattle metropolitan area, with five hospital campuses, two ambulatory care centers, and a network of more than one hundred primary-care and specialty clinics.

Swedish Health Services merged with Providence Health & Service, one of the largest health systems in the country, in 2022 after working together for ten years to provide comprehensive care across Western Washington state. The Sisters of Providence founded Providence Health & Services in 1859 as a nonprofit Catholic healthcare system. The health system expanded to include more than fifty hospitals, eight hundred-plus non-acute care facilities, and many assisted living facilities.

Their newly branded organization, Providence Swedish, provides an array of care throughout the Puget Sound region. Their system of eight hospitals and 244 clinics employs more than 2,200 providers and 22,000 caregivers. Providence Swedish delivers the most comprehensive healthcare service in Western Washington, providing care for 1.2 million unique patients annually.

Identifying Healthcare Communication Inefficiencies

Providence Swedish is committed to protecting its patients and has a rigorous quality and patient safety program. Staff submits a “Quality Variance” to their supervisors if an unexpected incident or event occurs that is inconsistent with the organization’s standards. This process results in service reports internally known as eQVR.

This dedication resulted in the First Hill and Cherry Hill campuses earning the highest hospital safety grade of A in 2022 from the Leapfrog Group in their biannual Leapfrog Patient Safety Survey. These campuses were recognized for success in protecting patients from harm and error.

Research indicates that poor communication among healthcare professionals is a leading cause of patient harm. In one study that examined healthcare communication flows, Improving Patient Safety Through Provider Communication Strategy Enhancements, researchers cited that time spent searching for and contacting appropriate providers (a.k.a. “problematic time”) was a crucial communication issue. “As data collection progressed, it became apparent that ‘communication events’ were complex and included time spent ‘hunting and gathering’ for the correct information related to whom to call, how to best contact them, and what to do when the primary person was not available. On average, ‘problematic time’ consisted of 10 to 40 percent of total communication time . . .”

The study’s results found that taking action to enhance teamwork and communication is crucial in preventing unfavorable patient outcomes. Taking action is exactly how leaders from Providence Swedish responded when they identified a communication weakness in their on-call system.

Supervisors at Providence Swedish noticed an uptick in eQVRs related to nighttime on-call providers failing to return calls or pages about patients. The eQVRs were escalated up the chain of command. It was discovered that communication breakdowns and delays were happening due to how updated on-call schedules were handled by the on-call system.

“We had situations where a provider may have a last-minute schedule change, an after-hours availability update, or needed to change their preferred method of being contacted,” said Brenda Frieboes, on-call manager for Providence Swedish. “The previous process for communicating those changes was for the providers to contact the call center and inform an operator. However, the only thing a hospital operator could do at the time was to take a message and put it in their ‘notes of the day’ system. There wasn’t a way for a general announcement to go out. That meant a nurse on the floor wouldn’t know about a schedule change unless they happen to contact the call center looking for help because they couldn’t reach a provider.”

Improving On-Call Communication and Response

Elizabeth Wako, MD, chief executive for Swedish Seattle, initiated the process of searching for a new on-call scheduling platform. She tapped the call center manager at Providence Swedish to find an advanced on-call scheduling system that could handle the roughly two hundred schedules that needed to be managed.

Brenda explained, “We had our on-call schedules in several different scheduling platforms from three vendors. The web program we used hosted every link for every schedule, both for the landing page and for the schedules themselves.”

The team needed an accurate on-call scheduling solution that made it easy to create, view, and update schedule coverage with the ability to easily dispatch messages to on-call contacts using their preferred method of communication. Brenda said, “We literally called around to different hospitals to see what system they used, and we became aware of the vendor we chose.”

The new on-call scheduling solution offered many benefits, including several that addressed the needs of the team, such as:

  • Advanced notifications about unfilled schedules
  • The ability for departments and clinics to enter and update their own schedules and add them to personal and mobile calendars
  • Automated real-time updates

Staff who needed remote access to their schedule could do so via the internet using the vendor’s mobile-friendly care team collaboration application to:

  • Access and view their on-call assignments and assign or request their own on-call assignments
  • Swap shifts with one another
  • Display information about on-call assignments for selected roles

Enhancing Patient Safety with a Frictionless Code Call System

When the call center team at Providence Swedish began the process of finding a new on-call scheduling system, they also decided to update their hospital phone operator console with a more robust platform that could better handle the roughly 2,500 calls they receive each day and to improve the code call process.

Brenda explained, “Providence Swedish has many different locations, and our hospital operators had to manually process code calls from each location using code sheets. For example, if someone from our Cherry Hill campus called a code stroke, operators had to write down the information, pull a Cherry Hill stroke form specific to their campus versus one from another site, and then call the code. There were about one hundred different code sheets for all our campuses. Depending on the code, this manual process could take up to two minutes each. We needed a system that could dispatch codes automatically.

“Providence Swedish wanted an operator console that could work enterprise-wide to guide agents through code calls and quickly dispatch to the correct location with a system that also tied into the on-call software. Our team also chose the vendor’s operator console,” said Brenda. “The vendor’s contact center software and widget-based care team collaboration app we use to manage on-call schedules can speak to each other. The codes are now dispatched through the system, which met all our needs.”

The scripting component of the operator console is fully customizable to efficiently guide operators through any type of call, including complex code calls. Scripts are preprogrammed into the call center software to ensure agents ask pertinent questions, provide the right answers, and direct calls to the appropriate person, department, or campus. Once the scripts have been programmed into the system, the call center agents simply read the prompts and follow the script.

Code calls can be incredibly stressful, and accuracy and speed are critical. Using the console system along with the app helps to:

  • Reduce operator errors
  • Improve efficiency for a better patient experience and outcome
  • Contact the correct on-call personnel
  • Provide detailed reporting analytics

“Now, when a code call comes in, it rings to an available operator, they select which campus, the code, and input any additional info needed into the fields to make the overhead announcement. It’s ‘click, click, click’ and they’re done,” Brenda said. “We dispatch between one thousand to twelve hundred codes a month from all eight of our hospitals, and most of our codes are dispatched in under a minute now. Dispatching our codes through this new system versus pulling the code sheet has significantly decreased the number of serious safety events.”

There are plans to introduce more automation and take advantage of the care team collaboration app’s interoperable capabilities. Currently, if a code STEMI comes through, the operator must navigate to the on-call schedule page to find and contact the on-call doctor. Soon, when the cardiology schedules are fully rolled over to the app and the operators dispatch a code STEMI, the system will automatically pull the STEMI doctor’s name, contact information, and notify that provider.

“We’re also working with the neuro-hospitalist team to complete an integration with the app and a notification application used in the ED,” said Brenda. “When a code stroke or code STEMI occurs, AMR (American Medical Response) calls from the field to notify the emergency department that they are bringing in a patient who is having a stroke. That sends a notification to the call center about a code stroke coming in. Currently, if our call center doesn’t hear from the ED within five minutes to initiate a code, an operator calls the ER to ask if a code stroke should be initiated. In this situation, time is obviously of the essence. We want to improve that process by using the information from the ED application to automatically notify the appropriate teams if there’s a code stroke that requires intervention.”

Implementing and Using the New Systems

Coordinating and implementing new software can be challenging for a system as large as Providence Swedish. While the hospitals will update their on-call scheduling platform to the care team collaboration app, hospitalist groups and other departments can decide to keep their current system. The entire organization is closely watching the project to see how it’s done and how successful it proves to be.

Brenda and her team began with a pilot group to train and roll over their schedules to the system. The providers, caregivers, nurses, and technicians who were involved all got twenty-four-hour access to their schedules via a QR code they scanned. When other departments saw the results and how easy it was to use, they were also interested in the care team collaboration application.

“Nuclear medicine and others wanted their schedule online too, so I’ve built quite a few new schedules for groups and departments who didn’t have online schedules before,” said Brenda.

Providence Swedish also has groups from a polyclinic with Kaiser Permanente Washington that admit patients to Providence Swedish hospitals. In the past, Providence Swedish providers would call Kaiser Permanente and speak with a polyclinic operator. The agent would connect the doctor from Providence Swedish and the doctor from Kaiser Permanente for a patient consult. These extra steps occurred because Providence Swedish operators could not access the polyclinic’s on-call schedules. Now the Kaiser polyclinic staff have their schedules online, making it much easier to find the information they need via the app.

Brenda continued, “More schedules than ever before are coming online and are easier to access. Plus, it’s direct access to the providers instead of going through an answering service or another switchboard. This is one of the huge benefits of the on-call schedules. I can build as many as I need with as many shifts listed per day as needed. The hospital schedules forty shifts a day. There’s really no end to what we can do or who we can accommodate as far as an on-call schedule. We’re already seeing the benefits of this program.”

Change can be intimidating to staff who are used to doing things in a certain way. However, once new users try it, they report it’s surprisingly easy to use. “The care team collaboration application is user-friendly,” said Brenda. “To be able to sit down and look at it, and then figure out how to do something with a program you’re not familiar with within a few minutes—if that isn’t user-friendly, I don’t know what is. When we were rolling out in the early stages, I had some difficulty getting the groups to enter their schedules for the next month into the app. I’d send a reminder and promise it would only take them a few minutes to complete. Then, I’d suddenly receive a message back a half hour later saying it was so easy that they got the next three months done!”

Brenda continued, “It’s better compliance to have schedules completed promptly. Before using this process, I would have to look at every schedule the week before they were due, and I’d have to email staff about it and offer to post it for them. That scenario has dropped considerably and made my job a lot easier. Now, staff gets their schedules completed on time.”

Customizable, Flexible Communication Software for an Evolving Industry

The United States doesn’t have a uniform health system. This means each organization or even department within the same organization operates in its own unique way and has particular needs regarding technology.

Operating systems used by healthcare have to be customizable and flexible to meet the needs of an industry that is embracing new tools to modernize internal systems. “We’ve had a lot of asks of our vendor, such as needing a customized single sign on process that our IT security wanted, the appearance of the on-call schedules, and tweaks to the software to make it work better for us,” said Brenda. “Their staff has always been very good at accommodating our requests or taking time to code something we need to work a certain way. I know that I can take any question, any ask to them, and it will be looked at and taken seriously.”

While health systems are trying to cut costs, they still must solve efficiency problems to address staff needs and better serve patients. Newly purchased technology should be an investment that can serve an organization with its present and future needs. “I personally wanted this vendor’s operator console and care team collaboration app. I was glad it met the hospital operator’s needs and was chosen,” said Brenda. “I fill in for the agents sometimes, and I liked it because it was a program that would grow with us. In five to ten years, we won’t be doing this process again. We’re not going to be looking for a new on-call scheduling platform or a new operator console system because our vendor will be able to meet our needs, as I see it, for the foreseeable future.”

1Call, a division of Amtelco

Nicole Limpert is the marketing content writer for 1Call, a division of Amtelco.

The September 2023 Issue of Medical Call Center News

Read the September 2023 issue of Medical Call Center News.

Medical Call Center News is an e-newsletter published by Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc, in conjunction with AnswerStat magazine.

Please tell your coworkers about Medical Call Center News.

Thank you!

[Medical Call Center News is published by Peter DeHaan Publishing IncPeter Lyle DeHaan, editor.]

Nurse Triage for Morbidity and Mortality


Save Lives and Lower Healthcare Costs

By Ravi K. Raheja, MD

We recently discussed why a nurse triage service is important for helping patients avoid unnecessary ER visits. The same holds true for those patients who have serious conditions but hesitate to seek emergency care. Read on to learn why implementing nurse triage can reduce patient morbidity and mortality and lower the associated healthcare costs at the same time.

Why Patients Delay Care

Many patients can feel self-conscious about their health, and don’t like to go to the ER unless they think it’s absolutely necessary. They may also be worried about insurance costs and would prefer waiting to see if their symptoms improve. But this hesitancy can put their overall health at risk if they’re exhibiting symptoms associated with underlying conditions: for instance, neck and shoulder pain that may be precursors to a heart attack.

Even if these symptoms don’t seem problematic immediately, it can take a very short period of time—sometimes less than 24 hours—before they may worsen. Having a qualified triage nurse who can talk with that patient and evaluate all of their symptoms using Schmitt-Thompson protocols will give them a definitive answer about whether or not they need the emergency department.

Not only does this lower the mortality rate at a given practice, it also helps patients avoid high medical bills. Those who may experience symptoms but continue to delay care may find themselves ultimately needing the ER anyway—and potentially an ambulance to get them there—and will have to pay more out of pocket compared to those treated early by a PCP. 

Conversely, patients who take active roles in their own healthcare are better able to avoid these situations. But they still need to know when their symptoms warrant going to the ER. Nurse triage is the best means of determining that.

Benefits of Nurse Triage

Nurse triage is a service where registered nurses talk with patients—either over the phone or through telehealth videoconferencing—to evaluate their symptoms and determine the best dispositions for care.

Those dispositions can be applied to both pediatric and adult cases. For a more in-depth discussion of how these age groups differ, and why there is a high referral rate for ER visits for adults, check out the e-book, Patient Symptoms & Outcomes.

Nurse triage should include:

  • Understanding the 10-step process for handling each call,
  • Access to the most up-to-date versions of daytime and after-hours triage protocols,
  • Use of intuitive nurse triage software to document all patient interactions, and 
  • Proper training on how to interact with all types of patients.

This service has demonstrated its ability to enhance patient health outcomes and provider revenue by assisting patients in comprehending the gravity of their symptoms, whether related to physical or mental health. It covers a spectrum from moderate to severe or even chronic conditions, and effectively identifies suitable healthcare professionals capable of providing treatment. This can even extend to ER referrals when necessary.

Morbidity and Mortality Examples

In a recent study we identified 60,753 patient callers who did not originally intend to go to the ER. Once evaluated by our triage nurses, we found that: 

  • 40,596 were correct and did not need to go,
  • 20,157 did need to go (33.2 percent), and 
  • 343 were actually instructed to call 911.
Morbidity Article Graph

Here are some examples of when our triage nurses have advised patients to seek treatment at an emergency department.

Case 1: 3-Day-Old Newborn with Loss of Appetite

Problem: A father called our nurses, worried that his newborn was not feeding or latching after just coming home from the hospital. The baby had been feeding and latching well earlier that day.

Outcome: After assessing that the newborn had demonstrated abnormal behavior, our nurses recommended emergency response.

Case 2: 22-Year-Old Adult with Chest Congestion

Problem: A patient called our nurses to ask for a refill on his inhaler, which expired earlier that year. He complained of chest congestion, a runny nose, and a sore throat that had started two days prior.

Outcome: After asking further questions about the patient’s symptoms, nurses learned he had difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and a pulse of over 100 BPM. They then determined the patient’s case was more severe than he realized and directed him to the ER.

Case 3: 47-Year-Old Adult with Chest Pain and Vertigo

Problem: A patient called our nurses and said that he was feeling chest pain, vertigo, dizziness, and headaches after taking his first dose of an SSRI earlier that day.

Outcome: After learning that the patient’s chest pain was intermittent, but increasing in severity, our nurses directed him to the ER.

Reduce Morbidity and Mortality Rates

Nurse triage plays a crucial role in assisting a wide range of cases, from new patients experiencing moderate symptoms like dehydration, to established patients with chronic conditions like heart disease. Whether you manage this service in-house or choose to outsource it, you’ll immediately see how these nurses can reduce incident rates and the number of deaths.

Ravi K. Raheja, MD is the CTO and Medical Director of the TriageLogic Group. Founded in 2007, TriageLogic is a URAC accredited, physician-led provider of high-quality telehealth services, remote patient monitoring, nurse triage, triage education, and software for telephone medicine. Their comprehensive solutions include integrated mobile access and two-way video capability. The TriageLogic group serves over 9,000 physicians and covers over 25 million lives nationwide.

Contact them to talk about a program to reduce morbidity and mortality.

August 2023 Issue of AnswerStat

Read the August 2023 issue of AnswerStat, the information hub for healthcare contact centers.

Feature Content:


Embracing Digital Transformation, by Mark Montgomery
Embracing digital transformation can help healthcare providers enhance member support in the changing landscape of healthcare. . . . << read more >>

Vital Signs: Call Center Stakeholder Integration, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Don’t overlook stakeholder integration in your call center when seeking to optimize your operation and to pursue successful outcomes. . . . << read more >>

Vendor Spotlight:  TriageLogic Case Study: Improving Medical Message Intake with Augmented Intelligence
Improve medical message intake with augmented intelligence for your operators by using MedMessage Assist from TriageLogic. . . . << read more >>

Guest Column: Gamification in the Contact Center by Nicole Limpert
The evidence is clear. Gamification of call analytics is a win for everyone. . . . << read more >>

3 Reasons Why Triage Nurses Need to Train with Simulated Patients, by Ravi K. Raheja, MD
Training with simulated patients is critical to ensure that nurses are well-prepared to provide high-quality care in real-world situations. . . . << read more >>

Ten Years Ago: Telehealth Checklists: Staying on Track Across the Miles, by Dr. Charu Raheja
Telehealth checklists offer a simple solution that provides a significant impact, offering protocols that safeguard quality. . . . << read more >>

Industry News

Send us your healthcare call center news for consideration in the next issue of AnswerStat.

Marketplace Directory: AnswerStat Directory of leading Healthcare Contact Center vendors:

LVM - Healthcare Contact Centers
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Call Center Stakeholder Integration

Connect with Critical Groups Who Often Go Overlooked

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

As we wrap up our five-part series, Integrate Your Call Center, our fourth consideration is stakeholder integration. (If you want to review, the other three are Integrate Your Call Center Staff, Integrate Your Call Center Tools, and Integrate with Your Organization.)

When we integrate our call center with our stakeholders, this means a better information flow between you and other groups that are ancillary to the call center but also integral to success. Here are some items to consider when it comes to integrating with your stakeholders.


First up for stakeholder integration is your vendors and suppliers. They are critical to your call center success, so it’s critical to have a good relationship with them. I’ve been on both sides of adversarial vendor-call center relationships, and the results are never good. For this reason, I always strive for mutually supportive, win-win interactions.

When you lift your vendors up, they’ll lift you up. And if you tear your vendors down, your operation is apt to suffer as a result. Seek interactions and solutions that are in your mutual self-interest. Your positivity will be rewarded.

And when difficulties arise—which they invariably will—seek to work with your vendors to find a solution rather than harass or threaten them. Remember, patience goes both ways.


Whether you’re part of a for-profit or nonprofit organization, someone has invested money in your operation, and they expect a return on that investment (ROI). If the call center fails to provide the return they expect, they’ll close it down and outsource the work. In a worst-case scenario, the organization will go out of business and close their doors. Either way, all those calls center jobs will be lost.

Yes, it’s the owners of your operation that control the purse strings. They are the ones who can say no to your funding requests. But they are not your enemy, so it’s important to have a good working relationship with them.

Call center investors and owners are the second source of stakeholder integration.


We’ve already talked about the importance of cross training when it comes to integrating your staff, yet call center employees are also stakeholders. They can be appreciative of their employers or hostile towards them. While this is a choice they decide, management plays a critical role in how well they’re integrated into the mission of the organization.

Key elements include their compensation package, managerial support, and how appreciated they feel for the work they do. Other areas are scheduling, workload, and a sense of a shared vision.

If they’re unhappy they’ll vent their frustrations with their coworkers, their family and friends, and potentially everyone who calls. Since they talk to a lot of people every day, a disgruntled telephone agent can harm your brand and hamper your objectives in quick order.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true. When they’re treated right, they’re much more apt to be happy and satisfied with their work. Then they’ll likewise let other people know, and their work will show it.


When it comes to making your call center the best it can be, be sure to include your stakeholders and integrate them into your operation. Though these groups often go overlooked, they are critical to your success. Don’t overlook stakeholder integration.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.

Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.

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