How Does a Nurse Advice Line Compare to Receiving Health Advice in Person?

As more services take advantage of instant communication, consumers have experienced the ease of online shopping, quick access to rides in most areas, on-demand music and other useful benefits. It makes sense that the healthcare industry would also join in with providing people speedy services online, but you might wonder just how this stacks up against going in to see a health professional in-person. Is it a good thing or not?

Accuracy of Diagnosis

In most cases, a nurse will be able to answer questions and assist patients in determining their needs, but they don’t actually make a diagnosis either in person or over the phone. Instead, they assess the situation and aid the patient in deciding whether or not treatment is required.

Nurse advice lines have proven to provide about the same level of accuracy as a patient would receive in person. The exception to this might be if a person is unable to accurately describe the problem since the nurse on an advice line can’t see what’s going on with the patient.

Provider Coverage

Many insurance providers now offer free nurse advice lines for their members. These are typically available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Any member who has an immediate health concern can call and speak directly to a nurse. This allows the caller to make an informed health decision without the need to go to the doctor’s office or emergency room, and it makes planning easier. The advice line helps people to reduce how much they pay for health care. You should coordinate care to close care gaps and avoid paying unnecessary copayments or emergency room fees.

Be Prepared

When you call a nurse advice line, it’s helpful to be prepared with the necessary information the nurse will need. Many times you will need to provide your insurance information or membership number to prove eligibility. The nurse will then ask you to provide enough details to determine whether you have an emergency or not. You should know if the patient has a fever, has been vomiting or has diarrhea, a rash or other obvious symptoms that warrant medical treatment. This helps the nurse decide what you should do.

A nurse advice line is ideal for times when you just don’t know what you should do. You’ll get advice on whether you need to go to the emergency room or if you should see your regular doctor in the morning. The nurse will be professional and helpful and may save you time and money by preventing needless trips to the doctor. Once you’ve spoken to the nurse, you’ll know what’s best for your situation.

Here’s another article you might like: How Doctors Can Use Data to Improve Your Health

Simon Greenberg

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