Why triage patient phone calls? Well most patients don’t know what their symptoms mean! Even very serious and urgent eye conditions can develop quickly and may not cause any pain at all.
Besides that, we all have different personalities, pain tolerances, and anxiety levels. You know that friend of yours who is always in a dramatic crisis? You know the friend that never seems to get upset? What might feel like the end of the world to one person might not even register with another! You can’t rely on the tone of voice of the patient or their expressions of concern to determine if they need to come in right away or if it can wait a little bit.
If you have a process for objectively gathering information from every patient who calls in with a medical concern, then you are not only creating a sense of calm authority for that patient, but you yourself will feel more confident in your decisions and communication with that patient and your team.
We recommend a philosophy of just in time patient care, which means that you should attempt to accommodate every patient who contacts you with a medical situation as soon as possible. This strengthens the depth of relationship and trust that your patients put in you. We believe this is critical to thriving in today's competitive eye care business arena. In a world where patients don't feel prioritized, you will truly stand out! We do understand that medical providers and clinics may have different philosophies related to working patients in, especially with very busy schedules. Please be sure to discuss this with your own supervisor, so you are aware of your practice's approach.