What is a nurse triage program?

nurse triage program

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A nurse triage program can help employees who get injured on the job and minimize employer costs related to workers’ compensation. Here is what you need to know about nurse triage programs.

What is nurse triage?

Nurse triage is a hotline that employees can call to report workplace injuries as soon as possible. The triage is done by a medical professional who will give guidance on what course of action the injured worker should take.

The typical triage process has the medical professional listening to the worker describe the injury, asking questions, and directing the injured worker towards next steps in a timely manner. The goal is to make sure unnecessary steps aren’t taken while the employee is given the best care possible.

How does a nurse triage program affect Work Comp?

Thanks to a nurse triage program, employers and insurance companies can both become aware of any workplace injuries immediately. Key benefits to implementing a nurse triage program for a workplace include:

Faster Claim Reporting

The faster a claim is reported, the quicker the coordinated response can be. This ensures the injured worker gets the care they need immediately. Many times, self care may be all that is needed for a claim. Self care doesn’t affect the experience mod and saves a trip to the physician or clinic.  When submitting a claim to nurse triage, you are able to eliminate the liability for medical care from your employees and transfer this responsibility to a medical professional.  The triage nurse can gather the injury details from the initial interview call. This can be used to complete the Employer’s First Report of Injury.

Record calls for fraud defense and case filing

One kind of supportive documentation an employer can use for a worker’s comp case claim is to have recorded calls for the sake of case filing, fraud defense, as well as overall quality assurance.

Reduce Work Comp Premium

It comes down to where an employee is directed: First-Aid, a local walk-in clinic, medical specialist, or to an emergency care facility. Here is an example:

Let’s say an employee slips, the fall results in them hurting their ankle. Their ankle is not bruised, it’s not numb, and they are able to put some weight on it.

  • Option 1: The employee decides to go to the emergency room, the bill could be $2,000. It ended up being a grade 1 sprained ankle and a claim was filed.
  • Option 2: The employee calls the nurse triage number. The medical provider determined that it was in fact a sprained ankle. Their advice was “over the next 2-3 days to use R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and take ibuprofen. Begin range-of-motion and stretching exercises within the first 48 hours and continue until you’re as free of pain as you were before your sprain. Within 2-3 days, if there is severe pain and you can’t walk, go to your local walk-in clinic.” Turns out, the employee felt no pain on day 3, a $2,000 emergency room bill was avoided, no claim was filed, and they returned to work on day 7.

Compared to option one, the employer saved money and there was no claim to increase the experience mod. This is how effective a nurse triage program can be.

Improve employee morale

This doesn’t affect work comp directly, but is a big positive of a nurse triage program. A nurse triage program can show workers that their injuries are taken seriously and that the company cares. Employee morale and performance go hand in hand, which can benefit companies meaningfully.

How to start a nurse triage program?

Talk to your insurance agent! They can contact your carrier to see if there is a hotline number or program already in place. A nurse triage program can save your business money, but also improve safety culture.

Agents – if you need help setting up a nurse triage program or want to see if it is a right fit for clients, contact our Mod Advisor team. We have reports to analyze client data but also resources. Our solution center has resources like a hotline flyer or nurse triage benefits marketing sheet, that will add value. Contact us today at [email protected].