Background: Triage nurses play a crucial role in addressing patient telephone calls. However, topics that radiation oncology (RO) triage nurses encounter have not been thoroughly investigated.
Objectives: This project established baseline patient issues addressed via telephone by RO triage nurses in a clinically busy academic RO department; identified themes and potential areas for workflow improvement; and evaluated interprofessional perceptions of RO triage from nurses, physicians, and radiation therapists.
Methods: This two-part study was conducted from September through November 2021 using a retrospective chart review that analyzed patient communications to the RO nurse triage line. Physicians, nurses, and radiation therapists completed an online survey about their experiences with nurse triage.
Findings: Analysis revealed 13 message themes, with scheduling questions being the most common theme. Survey results indicated that average provider satisfaction with the effectiveness of triage was 3 of 5, perceived triage nurse preparedness to resolve encounters was 3 of 5, and perception of the triage program by physicians was 2.4 of 5.