The Herman Trend Alert|
July 2, 2008
Access to Healthcare Information Saves Lives
SHPS, a leading, independent provider of integrated health solutions that improve personal health and reduce spending, recently released a white paper that establishes the value of nurse line services (after-hours telephonic access to credible answers for health-related questions). The bottom line, according to the study, is that this enhanced access "increases patient safety, reduces cost".
Authored by clinical director Todd Prewitt, M.D., the document discusses the challenges that arise during after-hours medical emergencies and reviews issues confronting both patients and employers. Moreover, it validates the role of these telephonic services in providing effective and reliable solutions.
The absence of this after-hours clinical expertise and advice can be devastating for both patients and their employers, causing unnecessary emergency room visits, costly medical interventions, or even serious physical harm. The additional effect on employers is intense, stimulating many organizations to establish nurse line services.
Not only do these services improve access to appropriate healthcare, but they also result in reduced employee absenteeism, improved productivity, and decreased healthcare costs. Research shows that employers that combine 24-hour nurse line systems with effective internal communications campaigns can anticipate redirecting 60 percent of callers to lower levels of care. That creates substantial savings!
There are other reasons for adopting nurse lines as well. Effective nurse line services support healthcare provider communities by educating patients and helping manage calls to physicians. These services have the effect of limiting doctor contacts to those situations that truly necessitate physician expertise. Furthermore, they provide a level of information that equips patients to engage their physicians in a collaborative approach to improved health. For a full copy of the white paper, visit www.CareWiseHealth.com. Special thanks to Ernie Clevenger (http://www.myhealthguide.com).
Our forecast is that more employers worldwide will adopt this nurse line system and other cost-saving strategies in their ongoing efforts to drive healthcare costs down and add profit to the bottom line. Expect to see groups of medium-size employers embracing this cost-saving measure, too. In these times of skill shortages and retiring Baby Boomers, enlightened employers will continue to look for strategies to maintain the health and well-being of their valuable workforce.
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