“Consultation Triage’’ – Optimizing the First Point of Contact

November 2019 Vol 10, No 11
Dominic van Loggerenberg
Netcare Breastcare Centre of Excellence, Milpark Hospital,
South Africa
Carol-Ann Benn, MB.BCh (Wits) FCS(SA)
Netcare Breastcare Centre of Excellence, Milpark Hospital;
Helen Joseph Hospital, Johannesburg;
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand,
Johannesburg, South Africa
Z. Muguli
Netcare Breastcare Centre of Excellence, Milpark Hospital,
South Africa
Kyara Bergstrom
Netcare Breastcare Centre of Excellence, Milpark Hospital,
South Africa

Background: Optimizing patient care, treatment delivery, and data-capturing forms have proved to be effective tools. Focusing on patients accessing a clinic to provide information about their reasons for seeking help. The biographical data provided to navigators can triage appointments. The perceived severity of health concerns can alert staff to prioritize appointments.

Methods: The provision of an easy-to-use digital questionnaire platform on first contact with a booking process.

Following their initial booking, patients completed an online survey, providing any relevant information they wished to include.

Patients are categorized according to anxiety level and reason for appointments. Questions as to the first point of contact and analysis of the center’s external reputation is further recorded. The system comprises an interactive survey. Initial details on demographics on each patient were captured.

  1. Patient’s anxiety level with regard to the reason for the visit.
    1. a. Linearly categorized on patient opinion

      b. Subcategorization age

  2. An option for an appointment—details provided as a preconsultation information pack to the navigation team to determine appointment prioritization.
  3. Information on how the patient came to contact the center.

Results: A normalized distribution of preconsultation anxiety was seen across all patients. Age-group analysis showed younger patients exhibited high mortality anxiety levels.

Conclusion: The use of this system has aided patient triage with regard to accessing the unit with prioritization of a rapid booking system for newly diagnosed cancer patients. Further data as to how patients accessed the unit have resulted in improvements in digital info-technology being instituted at the center.

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Last modified: August 10, 2023

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