COMMUNITY HEARTBEAT: MCH to partner on phone nurse triage program - Odessa American: Health

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COMMUNITY HEARTBEAT: MCH to partner on phone nurse triage program

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Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 2:46 pm, Mon Aug 27, 2012.

If you find yourself sick injured and not sure where to turn, help will soon be a phone call away.

COMMUNITY HEARTBEAT

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MCH to partner on phone nurse triage program

The telephone nurse triage program, 68-NURSE, at Midland Memorial Hospital will soon be partnering up with Medical Center Hospital, Chief Nursing Officer Marlene McAllister said.

The Midland based call center, staffed with six nurses, is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week and will go live with Odessa on Jan. 2, McAllister said.

 “We are buying into their program,” McAllister said.

The operating costs for the first year will be $332,000 and marketing for the first year will be $92,000 which will go down to about $48,000 after the first year, McAllister said.

While Midland Memorial implemented the program about two years ago, McAllister said MCH now has their network in place and will be able to better utilize it.

If a person calls in they are greeted by a nurse who uses a series of protocols to triage the person’s issue, Midland Memorial Vice President of Patient Care Services Robert Dent said.

Depending on the severity of the person’s illness or injury they can be given instructions to go to the ER, an urgent care center, wait and see their personal physician or treat themselves at home, Dent said.

The Midland call center receives about 2,500 calls a month and about 65 percent of the people that called were triaged to a lower level of care, Dent said.

MCH contacted Midland Memorial about a possible partnership about five months ago and it was approved by the Ector County Hospital District board at the Nov. 1 meeting, McAllister said.

 “Our whole region will certainly be able to benefit from it,” McAllister said.

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