Evaluating Clinical Guidelines, Supporting Technologies and a NAL Team's Clinical Qualifications - Fonemed

The Definitive Guide to Selecting a Nurse Advice Line Provider: Part IV

Now that you have familiarized yourself with how to develop your requirements and have an understanding of the benefits you should expect, it’s a good time to evaluate the processes, tools and team qualifications of your future telehealth partner.

Triage Protocols

Triage protocols designed by Dr. Barton Schmitt and Dr. David Thompson are widely accepted as the industry gold standard for call centers and practices. Both the After Hours and Office Hours content sets used by clinicians are concise protocols that lead to time and cost-efficient triage calls. If the nurse advice vendor your engaging is not using the Schmitt-Thompson Clinical Content – find one that does.

Clinical Decision Support Technology

Any credible nurse advice line service incorporates the Schmitt-Thompson medical guidelines with evidenced based clinical decision support tools to perform their work. Clinicians utilize these software based tools to drive efficiency, document encounters and get a 360 degree view of a patient population. Software, however, like nurse advice lines services in general, are not all the same.

Look for a service that uses proven software and has the ability not only connect patients and caregivers, but with your organization as well. For example, Fonemed’s clinical staff keep connected to vital patient records, each other, and their clients using the company’s advanced population health management platform. Fonemed’s HIPPA-compliant proprietary software was built from the ground-up and represents the knowledge that comes with nearly 20 years of clinical experience servicing nurse advice line clients and other healthcare organizations involved in population health.

Fonemed’s software provides flexible custom reporting that can include any desired data point from an encounter and can be used to more accurately evaluate patient trends, nurse advice service line utilization and more efficiently manage the healthcare needs a patient population.

Access and availability to data and subsequent reporting capabilities note a critical distinction between nurse advice line providers in an era when greater emphasis has been placed on accountable care and patient satisfaction metrics. As you evaluate nurse advice line vendors be sure to inquire as to the company’s ability to generate custom reporting that can directly mirror your organizational needs.

Clinical Team Qualifications

Medical practices and other healthcare organizations require their healthcare service partners to have the appropriately credentialed personnel to do the job. Accordingly when vetting a vendor make sure that the individuals responsible for fielding calls on behalf of your organization is a highly skilled, committed caregiver and a registered nurse licensed in your state.

Final Thoughts

In this series of articles we’ve looked at why a healthcare organization should be interested in leveraging a nurse advice line to extend the reach of their organization and offer greater possibilities for care as well as some of the important criteria you should consider when evaluating nurse advice line vendors. It is our sincere hope that this information is of value to you and can serve as valuable guide as each of us experiences one of the greatest transformational periods ever for the healthcare industry. We would love to hear from you, share our passion for telehealth and would be delighted to serve as your nurse advice line telehealth partner if given the opportunity.

Why Choose Fonemed

  • URAC accredited Health Call Center
  • 24 x 7 Access to R.N. counselors for members for symptom based assessment
  • Physician referral services for hospitals or group practices
  • Registered Nurse follow up with all 911 or Emergency Department Immediately
  • Dedicated toll free line
  • Extensive database of proprietary clinical protocols to assess symptoms and guide patients to appropriate care
  • Peace of mind for callers with access 24 hours a day to a Registered Nurse


Leave a Reply