By Gina Tabone – MSN, RNC-TNP

triple aimThe Affordable Care Act objectives can be summarized very simply by what is known as “TRIPLE AIM.” The emphasis is on providing better care for the patient and improving the health of the population all while lowering the per capita cost of healthcare. For almost two decades, the TeamHealth Medical Call Center has been and remains focused on these three priorities. Our AIM is great, and we’ve hit the bull’s eye!

Providing the “best” care for patients means that access to care is essential and should be available when the patient deems it necessary. TeamHealth is on target with this. Our nationally recognized team of call center experts has built a dependable infrastructure, designed “plan-of-care” processes, and assembled the clinician staff needed to respond when your patients reach out.

Dedicated registered nurses who are available 24/7 triage any acute symptom that a primary care patient may have or coordinate ongoing care of patients who are most at risk. We work with your organization to make certain that your patients never experience a gap in their healthcare—whether it’s nighttime, a weekend, or a holiday. We deliver an exceptional patient experience for every patient.

TeamHealth pioneered the delivery of care that improves the overall health and well-being of large groups of patients. Our organization doesn’t take patient care lightly, and we consistently achieve high quality outcomes for adult, pediatric and specialty populations. TRIPLE AIM validates the need for robust readmission prevention programs, so we have implemented disease-specific, post-discharge patient call back programs to ensure recently released patients are progressing as planned and making smooth transitions to their home settings. And we don’t settle for just one call. Multiple calls are made to the patient to verify that they have a clear understanding of their discharge instructions, whether follow-up appointments have been scheduled, and whether they’re taking their medication according to instructions.

Our proactive contact with patients helps them avoid the inconvenience and expense of unnecessary ED visits, and successful post-discharge call back programs ensure clinical intervention early on and greatly reduce preventable readmissions.

In 2014, readmission fines were imposed on 2,610 healthcare organizations, and Medicare estimates those fines resulted in a reimbursement reduction of $428 million. TeamHealth can work with your organization to ensure lower readmissions that will in turn improve your bottom line, and Nurse Triage is a large part of the solution because remote telephone triage is the most cost-effective means of providing high-quality healthcare.

All practices are challenged when it comes to efficiently utilizing their resources. By authorizing dedicated triage nurses to care for your patients, you empower your clinical staff to do what they do best—take care of the patients who present to the clinic. When your nurses are returning dozens of phone calls every day, they’re not able to coordinate care for your highest risk patients, assist with procedures, or guide the practice of your unlicensed staff.

Integrating telephone triage in the continuum of care is a key solution for any Accountable Care Organization to succeed TeamHealth provides seamless care to more than 500 practices, hospitals, third-party payers, and university health centers, and the cost savings and benefits to patients, providers, hospitals, and insurance plans are more than impressive.

TeamHealth Medical Call Center is the premier provider of solutions for achieving goals of the TRIPLE AIM.

gina_taboneGina Tabone, MSN, RNC-TNP, is the Director of Clinical Solutions at TeamHealth Medical Call Center. Prior to her current role, she served as the Administrator of Cleveland Clinic’s NURSE on CALL 24/7 nurse triage program. Under her direction, ED utilization declined, continuous care coordination improved, performance metric targets dropped from 33% ABD to less than 5%, URAC accreditation was achieved, and the department grew from covering 350 physicians to the integration of more than 1,500 employed and affiliated providers. Year after year she was able to operate Nurse on Call at or below the forecasted budget.