Logan Health repurposes COVID Nurse Call Line to be permanent community service
Logan Health is launching the Nurse Call Line, a free service for our community using the foundation developed by the organization in response to the novel coronavirus.
During the COVID-19 global pandemic the organization stood up a 24/7 call center, operated by registered nurses. “We recognized that our community had a lot of questions about COVID that could be answered by nurses,” says Cody Bartholomew, MN, RN, CNL, the Director of Ambulatory Nursing & Clinical Practice at Logan Health.
Since the initial startup on March 14, 2020, the COVID-19 call center has run 24/7—triaging symptoms, providing education, connecting patients to local resources, and answering questions. From March through November 2020, Logan Health answered 28,294 calls.
“We are really proud of the support we have been able to provide our community,” shared Bartholomew. “When we realized how much of a need there was for sound, evidence-based advice any time of day or night, we put our heads together to ensure we could continue providing this service, even as the pandemic started to subside.”
Telephone nursing was officially designated as a subspecialty of nursing in 1997 and has been described as a complex and multifaceted specialty that encompasses independent and collaborative practice during patient encounters over the telephone (American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, AAACN). A telephone triage RN must be experienced and knowledgeable as they are essentially assessing a patient without eyes or hands. By providing sound, evidence-based advice, at no cost to the caller, the Nurse Call Line at Logan Health will help to improve patient access to care and reduce unnecessary doctor and emergency room visits.
“People have questions about their health that they would normally just google,” Bartholomew commented. “But, any concern that arises should really be reviewed by a medical professional and that’s where we come in.”
The service is intended to be a place where anyone can call and get sound advice and help for whatever they are experiencing. Callers do not need to be established Logan Health patients. Perhaps someone notices new symptoms, gets a spider bite or gets banged up mountain biking, and isn’t sure what the right thing to do is. Logan Health’s experienced, highly trained Nurse Call Line registered nurses will answer their call, ask questions to assess the situation and then provide guidance and education to help the caller address the problem.
“There is no question too hard, too complicated or too scary. We are transforming patient care,” says Crystal Carter, RN, one of the original nurses who manned the COVID Call Center. “We are able to communicate resources, triage symptoms and provide extensive education to the community without the caller having to leave their homes. By being available in this way, we have and will continue to be able to ease the minds of many in our community.”
Right now the Nurse Call Line will be in operation, 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., including weekends and holidays, with hopes to return to the original 24/7 coverage. The phone number for the Nurse Call Line is (406) 890-7272.