Telehealth website Nurse-1-1 successfully lowers healthcare costs  while increasing patient engagement

95% of patients on Nurse-1-1 who were considering an ER visit end up receiving a non-emergent recommendation from a nurse

BOSTON — June 15, 2020 — Today, Nurse-1-1 releases a white paper showing where the flaws exist in the current expensive and often inaccessible health care system. 

One top finding is 95% of patients who are considering visiting the ER are actually given a non-emergent recommendation (e.g. home care or telemedicine visit with a doctor) by their nurse. This has huge cost saving implications for risk-bearing entities, payers, digital health companies, and state health departments, as the ER can cost upwards of $2,032 per visit.

Over the course of two months, over 30,000 unique patients visited Nurse-1-1.com. Metrics collected during this time are outlined in the Nurse-1-1 Utilization Management White Paper. Additional highlights include:

  • 17% of patients indicated they were considering going to the ER before they chatted with a nurse
  • 255% increase in patient signups for one of Nurse-1-1’s largest digital health partners
  • Of the more than 30k unique patients who visited nurse-1-1.com over the two month period, 20% reported being uninsured and 45% reported not having a PCP

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the failings of the US healthcare system into greater focus by highlighting just how costly, inaccessible, and unjust the system is. Even before the pandemic, health costs were rising, with the sick facing crushing medical debt and the uninsured turning to our emergency rooms for routine health questions. In fact, America spends twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries, yet studies show we fail to produce healthier citizens and approximately 30% of health care spending may be considered waste. 

As we re-examine our current policies and attempt to shift towards a more sustainable and equitable healthcare system, patients need to stay informed and properly navigated throughout the care journey in order to properly manage utilization and reduce costs. Nurse-1-1 offers an effective solution to achieve both lower healthcare costs and increased patient engagement. The customizable, on-demand nurse chat can reach large numbers of patients at any time from anywhere, 24/7/365, and offers a tailored approach to right-sizing care for risk-bearing entities, payers, digital health companies, and state health departments. 

About Nurse-1-1

Nurse-1-1 is an on-demand nurse chat that allows anybody to chat securely and immediately with a nurse 24/7 for healthcare information and guidance. Our mission is to provide accessible and compassionate healthcare to the billions of worried patients searching for information about their health concerns every day. With a network of over 1,100 highly experienced nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, we reach patients through personalized, live, text and photo-based nurse chats, providing trusted health information so they can make better decisions about where they should turn to for care. Visit nurse-1-1.com for more information.

Patients can now chat with a nurse for free to receive live, personalized healthcare guidance

Nurse-1-1 and Zocdoc have come together to help patients gain peace of mind while reducing the strain on the healthcare system during a critical time

In light of the recent spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the team at Nurse-1-1 is leveraging its existing on-demand nurse chat platform to provide every person in the United States with immediate access to a trusted nurse, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. This tool will allow all patients to contact a nurse digitally, remotely, and faster than trying to reach their existing provider, ultimately reducing the increasing burden on our healthcare system during this time of uncertainty.

As part of this nationwide effort, Nurse-1-1 is enabling chats – free through Zocdoc’s platform – with its network of over 750 experienced nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to support patients’ questions related to COVID-19 in addition to any other medical questions or concerns they may have. Chats are live, instant, and text and photo-based. To access the free chats, patients in the U.S. can visit zocdoc.com/coronavirus and click “Chat now” to ask their personal, health-related questions. From there, they’ll get real-time support from a network of highly experienced licensed nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants for free. 

“At a time when the healthcare system is increasingly strained and public health efforts are focused on mitigating community spread, we feel it is our responsibility to quickly introduce new ways to help patients digitally access care,” said Oliver Kharraz, M.D., Zocdoc founder and CEO. “By teaming up with Nurse-1-1 and their experienced network, we can help patients instantly get free guidance on their health-related questions and concerns when they need support most.”

“Nurse-1-1 is a new way of delivering personalized, secure and immediate healthcare information and guidance to worried patients,” said Michael Sheeley, co-founder and CEO of Nurse-1-1. “We are proud to partner with Zocdoc to provide free chats through their platform with our network of over 750 nurses during a time when patients and families are struggling for answers.”

In line with Nurse-1-1’s mission to provide accessible and compassionate healthcare for all, this free offering aims to help patients quickly feel more informed and assured when it comes to their healthcare concerns – regardless of whether they’re at-risk, the ‘worried well’, or in good health. It also helps reduce unnecessary visits and call volumes to healthcare providers by giving people with non-urgent cases a faster, easier way to get healthcare information and guidance remotely.

Launched from Harvard University’s Innovation Lab, Nurse-1-1 is the digital doorway to healthcare for the billions of worried patients searching for information about their health concerns every day. Its proprietary smart-routing technology connects anybody with a licensed nurse within seconds. Outside of this partnership with Zocdoc, chats are either free or cost $12.50, depending on whether the patient’s provider, insurance plan, digital health service, or any local clinic is partnered with Nurse-1-1. If those aren’t available, patients can pay $12.50 (which is less than most consultation copays) to chat with an independent nurse. Nurse chats will not result in a prescription, diagnosis, or be a replacement for visiting a provider. However, they will provide helpful guidance and follow up instructions. 

Nurse-1-1 partners with providers, health plans, and digital health services to guide patients on how best to navigate the healthcare system at a fraction of the cost of traditional nurse call centers. To learn more about how you can partner with Nurse-1-1 to provide free nurse chats to your patients or members, click here.

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About Nurse-1-1

Nurse-1-1 is an on-demand nurse chat that allows anybody to chat securely and immediately with a nurse 24/7 for healthcare information and guidance. Our mission is to provide accessible and compassionate healthcare to the billions of worried patients searching for information about their health concerns every day. With a network of over 750 highly experienced nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, we reach patients through personalized, live, text and photo-based nurse chats, providing trusted health information so they can make better decisions about where they should turn to for care. Visit nurse-1-1.com for more information.

About Zocdoc

Zocdoc is the tech company at the beginning of a better healthcare experience. Each month, millions of patients use Zocdoc.com or our iOS and Android apps to find in-network neighborhood doctors, instantly book appointments online, see what other real patients have to say, get reminders for upcoming appointments and preventive checkups, fill out their paperwork online, and more. With a mission to give power to the patient, Zocdoc’s online marketplace delivers the accessible and simple experience patients expect and deserve.

Answering Your Patients’ COVID-19 Concerns

Here at Nurse-1-1, we recognize we are uniquely positioned to support the public health response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That’s because we’ve developed a HIPAA-compliant text and photo-based chat platform that meets patients where they are—online—and gives them the option to chat with a live, trusted nurse offering education and care navigation. In fact, if you’re a healthcare provider in the Massachusetts area, it’s likely we’ve already helped some of your patients, for free. During a time when patients and families are struggling for answers, let’s work together to ensure your patients are well educated and accessing care correctly.

Nurse-1-1 has already been helping our patients, for free? How’s that possible? 

Well, tens of thousands of patients find us when they search online for health information and see our content. Turns out that many patients who already have established PCPs are still using Nurse-1-1 to help with their health concerns. We know because they tell us! 

Wait, my patients call me first before going online!

How sure are you of that? These days, many offices and call centers are facing hours-long queues. As a nurse practitioner who does plenty of triage in an Urgent Care setting, I know this firsthand as I’ve had to call patients back 3, 4, even 5 hours after they called on a busy weekend during flu season. Do you really think patients are waiting hours without going online to educate themselves? Studies show 80-90% of patients use online health information to make their healthcare decisions. 

By the time you’ve called your patients back, they may have already sought care elsewhere such as a walk-in clinic, urgent care, or ER. Nurse-1-1 diverts patients away from fear-inducing websites and into a live chat with our 675 trained nurses, who then help guide them to the right care location.

Is your practice ready for what is coming with the COVID-19 outbreak? 

The CDC currently recommends that patients with low risk of being infected with COVID-19 that have symptoms or exposures should seek telephone health advice to determine if medical evaluation is needed. This likely means a large increase in patients contacting their providers for advice on whether evaluation is needed is coming. Are your triage systems ready? 

Because of the crisis and our company’s mission, we are now offering Nurse-1-1 for free to as many patients as possible during this time. We can’t help everyone, but we can do our part in the public health response. If you’d like to ensure your patients are able to use Nurse-1-1 for free during this period of uncertainty and confusion, contact us. A partnership with Nurse-1-1 can help your patients make proper healthcare decisions, avoid unnecessary visits to alternative sites of care, and educate them on appropriate preventative measures. 

Why trust Nurse-1-1 during this time?

We only staff experienced triage nurses and nurse practitioners ready to chat with your patients 24/7. We are also HIPAA-compliant and can share patient notes under a BAA. Our real strength? We meet patients where they are—online—and connect them within minutes to a trusted nurse. 

During this critical moment in history, more and more patients will be searching for information and answers to their health questions. Let’s work together to ensure your patients stay calm and feel cared for. Reach our below for more information.

Kim Liner, PNP

Nurse-1-1 Chief NP

Health System Call Centers: We Got Your Back

Nurse-1-1 proactively engages with a diverse population of patients with a variety of questions and concerns. Over the past few months, the number of patients coming to Nurse-1-1 has skyrocketed. 

One industry question we get a lot is about who these patients are. Are they uninsured? Do they come because they don’t have a primary care provider? Why would a patient use Nurse-1-1 when they can just call their provider? 

To answer this last question specifically, we added 2 simple questions that patients now answer before we connect them with a nurse: Do you have health insurance? And do you have a primary care provider? 

The results from over 400 patients this weekend: 

  • 73% of patients coming to Nurse-1-1 have insurance 
  • 63% of patients have a primary care provider 

So why would an insured patient with a primary care provider use Nurse-1-1? Well for one, they don’t want to play the callback game with their provider’s office. Oftentimes, the patient has already gone to the emergency room before getting a callback from whoever’s on call. Call volume is just too high this time of year, and call centers are overworked and struggle to keep up without the modernization of technologies required. In fact, we recently heard that a large health system had over 100 patients who needed to be called back at one point this weekend. Patients have no choice but to look elsewhere for help.

Seeing these results, we wanted to know more. So just last week, we launched a feature in the Boston area that further asked patients who have a primary care provider to let us know who they have and what health system they are a part of. 

Just over the weekend (Saturday & Sunday) in the Boston area alone we had:

  • 68 patients from Beth Israel Lahey Health
  • 47 patients from a well known Boston pediatric network 
  • 30 patients from Atrius Health 

These are some of the best institutions in the world and their patients are coming to Nurse-1-1 to answer their health questions. This makes our team very proud to be helping their call centers during this very busy season. Anytime we can help, we are here. 

Unfortunately, not all of these patients had a chat with a nurse. Until more providers and health plans offer Nurse-1-1 to their patients and members, a chat with a nurse costs $12.50. Although most telemedicine platforms cost $49 a session, when health systems or insurance plans partner with Nurse-1-1, Nurse-1-1 becomes free to patients and members. Patients and members can be routed directly to nurses who work for these health systems. The conversations can also be saved directly to the patient’s health record. 

We are just getting started here at Nurse-1-1. We are working closely with forward-thinking health systems and health insurance plans to engage more patients and members, providing them the help they need to make better healthcare decisions. Nationwide we are seeing similar patterns, as the map below shows a pin in each city or town where a patient has come to Nurse-1-1 in just the last few months. That’s a patient in all 50 states.  

The Holiday Season for the Uninsured and Underinsured

This holiday season, we may buy gifts for others, we may wish to spend time with those we love, we may even reflect on how we lived over the past year. The winter season is a special time that hopefully allows us to slow down, and take stock of life. What we are thankful for? How can we be more grateful for what we have rather than fixate on what we don’t have? 

One thing you should definitely be grateful for is having good health insurance. That is, if you have it, and it’s actually comprehensive. If by some unfortunate chance you or a loved one gets sick, thankfully you are lucky enough to access help without stressing (too much) about how you will pay the bill. 

Sadly, so many Americans today are entering this holiday season one bad health break away from bankruptcy, or even worse, serious illness because they can’t afford healthcare. The number of uninsured in America increased in 2018 to 27.8 million 😱. Instead of worrying about which in-laws to visit, these people are worried about which illnesses they can care for at home, because a visit to urgent care or the ER may very well leave them broke for the holidays. 

This doesn’t even take into account the number of underinsured Americans, which climbed to 29% of all U.S. adults in 2018, according to a study from The Commonwealth Fund. This means these individuals are on high-deductible health plans and their out-of-pocket costs are above an acceptable portion of their annual income, causing them to potentially forgeo necessary care or spend precious money on healthcare that was needed elsewhere. The crazy part, a majority of those underinsured are actually on employer health plans. 🤢

The holidays should be a time spent with family, remembering what matters in life. It shouldn’t be a time to worry whether your paycheck should go towards holiday dinners or healthcare bills 😳. When we started building Nurse-1-1, we never thought it would become a go-to for uninsured and underinsured individuals. Sure, we had a hunch, but not to this degree. Every single day Nurse-1-1 helps a multitude of patients all struggling with the same tough decision —  “I’m sick, but what should I do if I don’t have (adequate) health insurance or the money for out-of-pocket costs.”

Nurse-1-1’s Health Experts empower these patients with trusted health information, sometimes at no cost to them. With this knowledge, these patients are potentially able to self care at home and avoid unnecessary out-of-pocket healthcare spending, or even worse, a costly ER bill that may go unpaid. In some circumstances, Nurse-1-1 goes one step further and helps them find affordable care options, even community health centers that will set them up with health insurance and accessible care.  

Sure, we never expected to be an answer to America’s growing uninsured/underinsured crisis, but since we are, we take our role very seriously. It’s part of our mission to help all Americans, and as such we are building tools to help those a little less fortunate this holiday season. Soon, any American will be able to use Nurse-1-1 not just for trusted health information (that’s already available now), but as a way to receive comprehensive health care without breaking the bank. 

Is it your mission to do the same? Well then, let’s work together

Dr. Igor Shumskiy

Americans Trust Nurses Most to Improve the Healthcare System. Shouldn’t Your Organization?

Author: Nurse-1-1 Medical Team

Hey, have you heard? Americans trust Nurses to improve the U.S. healthcare system over every other healthcare group. By far. Why should it matter to your organization? Because trust may be the single most important factor that dictates your patients’ healthcare decisions. 

This past October (of 2019), The New York Times, the Commonwealth Fund, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a survey of 2,005 adults titled “Americans’ Values and Beliefs About National Health Insurance Reform.” The survey specifically asked how much trust the public has in various healthcare stakeholders to improve the U.S. healthcare system. Over half of respondents (58%) trust nurses to undertake this goal. Only 30% of those same respondents trust doctors, and 18% trust hospitals to improve the system. The stats are even worse for health insurance companies, the government, and business leaders. Find the final report here

Americans trust nurses over doctors

Were we surprised to see nurses as the most trusted group to improve healthcare? With nearly double the trust rate compared to doctors? Nope! After all, we are called Nurse-1-1 for a reason. However, this knowledge does make me wonder if our healthcare system is doing enough to put nurses at the center, and creating opportunities for them to innovate and improve the system.

It’s not like the jury is still out on whether patients will respond positively to more interactions with nurses during their care journeys. Opinion polls in the U.S. have rated nurses as the most trusted profession for the past 17 years. Nurses exude ethics, honesty, and care. They were “mission-driven” way before this became the cool buzzword for startups. And most importantly, patients trust them. 

Patients trust nurse to care for their ill grandfathers. They trust them to explain the complicated jargon that just came out of the doctor’s mouth. They trust them to be honest. And, they trust them to make healthcare better than it is today. 

Trust leads to patient engagement

This one little factor, trust, can make or break a patient’s experience as they navigate the healthcare landscape and make decisions that greatly affect them. From step one, when illness strikes and patients’ journeys begin, patients are searching for a place they can trust to return them back to health. If you are a healthcare entity of any kind (payer, provider, employer, information source), how you engage with patients during this critical moment will greatly dictate the next steps of the patient’s journey. 

Please note the emphasis in the last sentence, it’s how YOU engage with your patients, not how patients engage with you. Fail to build the right level of trust at the outset and your patient is more likely to make poorer healthcare decisions, like postponing care or unnecessarily ending up in an ER. Postponed care can lead to increased healthcare costs and bad outcomes, both things we strive to avoid. Create solid trust from inception and patients will seek care as recommended, stay engaged, avoid the ER, and live healthier lives. 

Are you building high-levels of trust with your patients from step one? If you don’t have nurses involved at this crucial step, chances are the answer is no. 

When we decided to build a company that helps people during the very first step of their illness journey, we knew nurses must be the foundation. That’s why patients who use Nurse-1-1 are messaging with a nurse within 30 seconds. When it comes to our product, our motto is: “get the heck out of the way and let nurses work their trust-building magic.” 

Want to build more trust with your patients at this critical moment? Nurse-1-1 is here to help. Learn more by visiting the providers, payers, and employers sections of our website. Or contact us below and we’ll tell you more.

Nurse-1-1, population health, & health influencers

This morning I got an alert from Google that Nurse-1-1 was mentioned in the news. This one was different than the other alerts I usually get if Nurse-1-1 is in the news. It wasn’t an article I knew about ahead of time, and it wasn’t from a tech publication. It was from “The Link”, a small publication that targets students at Concordia University. The article, titled Sex Ed(itorial): Is My Birth Control Ruining My Life?, focuses on women’s health and references Nurse-1-1 as an expert source of health information. This is big news for anyone focused on population health.

From a population health standpoint, reaching influencers in communities is key. The CDC is always engaging PR firms to help them reach local influencers who can help educate a community about vaccinations, flu prevention, outbreaks of preventable illnesses and other health information that they need help educating communities about. The goal of this article is to reach women on a college campus.

It is no wonder to us that Nurse-1-1 is used to help spread the word on campus. In a recent study by Nurse-1-1’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Igor Shumskiy, he found that people are 5 times more likely to discuss their sexual health concerns on Nurse-1-1 than even with their own doctor’s office advice line. This morning’s article from The Link goes one step further. Not only are nurses on Nurse-1-1 influencing patients, they are helping publications spread important health information to their targeted communities. 

We are now looking at ways to expand this use of Nurse-1-1 for other organizations focused on population health. As any well functioning startup does, once you see something working, and working well, you need to look for ways to scale. We are mission driven here at Nurse-1-1. Enabling nurse influencers to educate their local communities about important healthcare topics makes us happy. This outcome is just one of many ways Nurse-1-1’s network of over 500 Nurse Practitioners across all 50 states can positively impact the health and wellness of Americans. Nurse-1-1 eliminates the uncertainty of the internet search and puts an expert nurse in your living room.

– Michael Sheeley, Co-founder/CEO Nurse-1-1

Treating Transgender Patients

So your patient’s name is Samantha and goes by Sam. They “appear” male but are here for vaginal discharge. There is nothing in the chart about how your patient identifies. There is an elephant in the room… where do you go from here?

Now many of us providers have lots of experience treating transgender, genderqueer and non-binary patients, but many of us have absolutely NONE. The reality is that in many areas of the country these patients have to hide from getting medical care. Patients are scared to be treated badly, and therefore their health suffers.

Fortunately, in many areas of the community, it’s becoming more accepted and more common for transgender/non-binary patients to come to urgent care and their primary care offices for care. BE the provider that keeps those numbers increasing. Don’t prevent healthcare from happening. 

In the recent past and still in many communities, some of these patients would not seek medical help when needed and would become very ill to avoid having to deal with medical professionals that they did not know. They would only see known, “safe” providers who are not always available for urgent care/sick visits. It can be too risky to be seen by someone who may make them feel worse or who may refuse to see them altogether. Not everyone will accept these patients and treat them humanely as they deserve. The health care disparity for transgender patients is real. 

Here at Nurse-1-1 we realized that having only a male and female option was not inclusive enough. We saw the need for care for all humans and realized that we were unintentionally excluding a cohort of patients. After realizing our oversight, we made sure our service included non-binary patients. We added “non-binary” as an option for gender so that all patients would feel welcome to chat with us. We wanted to be sure we were creating a safe space for all patients. 

We want patients to feel comfortable with sharing their health concerns. And we strive to provide the best environment for our nurses to help as many patients as they can.

If you are feeling uncomfortable as the provider, imagine how your patient feels. It’s time to pull your big kid pants on and put aside opinions and biases. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I mean, you aren’t afraid of blood and guts, so this shouldn’t be that much more difficult. Don’t forget we are all human. You may feel strongly that you are a female or male, but your patient may be struggling with that label, especially if they feel like they don’t belong.

Now when I say struggling, I don’t mean they are confused. I mean that they might not fit into the typical label they appear to be and that they were given at birth. Your patient may have a penis but identify and appear to be a female. Don’t assume, ask. Let your patient tell YOU how they identify. 

Don’t guess. Guessing is ignorant. ASK your patient! How would they like to be called? He? She? They? Ask what name they would like to go by. Put it in the chart, make it clear. It doesn’t have to be permanent, these things change. But make it easy. Help out your colleagues, spare your patient from having to explain to each person who enters the room. 

Respect your patient. You don’t have to understand or agree with your patient’s label and identity. You aren’t there for that. You are there to address the issue at hand. This issue is their current illness and symptoms. They are unlikely at the urgent care center today because they want you to help them choose how to dress and act and who they should have sex with. They are here because they have acute symptoms and need your help. 

Your patient in your office is brave and strong. Some patients just can’t bring themselves to come into the office in person, but need medical help. Nurse-1-1’s text based triage service will allow your patients to connect with a health care provider. One of our goals is to be part of the health care solution and decrease disparities. If you feel like we can help you be a part of this, let us know, there are options to help make your clinic one that is accepting of all patients. Make the changes necessary to be that change! 

Next let’s not assume that Sam isn’t sexually active with men. In fact don’t assume anything. Sam’s vaginal discharge and abdominal pain could be due to pregnancy. Don’t assume that Sam, who identifies as male, is only sexually active with women. Gender identity doesn’t specify sexual orientation. Asking questions politely and respectfully will help you give the best care to your patients. 

Your patients who are hesitant to get medical care are at very high risk for health problems and complications. The health disparity they face must be improved. Offer care, encourage well visits and preventative care, be kind, support your fellow human. YOU might make the difference in their life. Offer them a safe place to come for health issues and concerns. Read up on how you can help these patients feel respected and cared for. Come out of your comfort zone. Keep them coming back to your clinic. Keep making improvements in healthcare and in the lives of others. We owe this to humanity. Be a provider who directly but respectfully addresses gender identify, and help improve health care disparities. 

Nurse-1-1 is Creating a Safe Space & Breaking Down Health Disparities

Author: Igor Shumskiy, MD

Why are patients 5 times more likely to discuss their sexual and gender-related health concerns on Nurse-1-1 than on a typical telephone triage call with their doctor’s office? Read on to get my analysis, but more importantly, the reasoning behind why providers, payers, and public health departments should care about this stat. 

First off, what is Nurse-1-1? Nurse-1-1 is the digital doorway to healthcare for the billions of worried patients searching online for information about their health concerns every day. Through personalized, live, text-based nurse chats, patients receive trusted health information so they can make better decisions about their health. 

Sensitive health concerns are common

We often hear, “this is fascinating… what types of health questions do people have???” Turns out that 22% of all health concerns on Nurse-1-1 are related to women’s health, men’s health, teen health, or sexual health. Seems like a reasonable percentage for such common issues, right? 

According to the American College of Physicians – American Society of Internal Medicine report on Telephone Triage, the highest women’s health, men’s health, or sexual health related concern was difficult urination for women, at 2.3%. The next highest was vaginal discharge, at 1.4%. The report doesn’t share further topic breakdowns below 1.4%, however, I’m going to safely assume that the total sum of these types of questions is around 5% of all calls. 

A combined 22% vs 5%. Umm, huh? This means that more than 1 out of every 5 patients on Nurse-1-1 are asking about women’s health, men’s health, or sexual health. While 1 out of every 25 are doing the same with traditional phone triage at their provider’s office. That’s 5 times more on Nurse-1-1 than a typical nurse triage line.😳😳😳

Why this huge difference? And, does it matter?

Well, in my opinion, this matters a whole heck of a lot. Just because traditional primary care nurse hotlines are not getting called about sexual health concerns doesn’t mean these concerns don’t exist. There are many reasons why patients may not want to call and talk to a nurse over the phone about these types of questions. For starters, it can be embarrassing! Usually these are the types of questions that patients feel they must first lie about to the phone scheduler, saying “it’s just a cold” rather than what it truly is, and then having to whisper about it shyly in front of the nurse or doctor.🙈

Furthermore, a lot of people may not even have a trusted provider they feel comfortable enough discussing these types of topics with. This leaves a huge unmet health need with problematic downstream consequences. Miscommunicating the real concern over the phone may lead to delays in care or recommendations for the wrong level of care, potentially leading to higher costs and missed PCP office visits when needed. 

Advantages of text chat for triage

So why is it that people more readily come to Nurse-1-1 with these types of concerns? First, you can safely and privately message our nurses from anywhere! No need to wait until you get home, walk into your bathroom, lock the door, close the window, and make sure that no one is listening before you even think about making the call.🤣😂 Hey, we’ve all been there! Unlike phone calls, no one will know what you are typing even in the most crowded of places (re: 🚃🚎🏢). Also, patients have a sense of anonymity on Nurse-1-1 — we only ask for a first name, an email, an age range, and a gender. As the patient becomes more comfortable with the nurse in the chat, they feel empowered and in control, allowing them to provide more information. 

Probably the biggest reason that breaks down barriers… the way Nurse-1-1 has implemented text messaging. A 2012 study out of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan suggested people are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text than they are over the phone. This is right in line with our experience on Nurse-1-1, texting a trusted nurse, on your terms, creates a safe space unlike any other. It doesn’t hurt that our national network of nurses are highly experienced and carefully selected based on their ability to communicate compassionately through live text chat. 

Why should providers and health plans like you care if patients share sensitive concerns associated with sexual and gender-related health on Nurse-1-1? 

How text chat triage benefits population health

If you are a provider, payer, or a mix of the two, chances are your patients’ sexual health concerns are not being met. As a payer, you are risking your patients postponing care and creating higher healthcare costs down the road (think unnecessary ED visits 😕 for difficulty urinating, pregnancy tests, or erectile dysfunction). As a provider, you may be missing crucial patient traffic that is instead visiting your competing locations since they didn’t have the right outlet to ask you about their personal concern. When is the last time you considered the way your patients step into your virtual doors? It might be time to innovate your offering and reach your patients on a more 21st century level. 

If you’re part of a population health management team, whether as a payer, provider, or public health department, then we need to talk! This discrepancy above clearly shows Nurse-1-1 can have large scale impact on a public health level potentially never seen before. We are already serving thousands of patients across the country who are turning to us for their sensitive questions! Let’s find a way to work together and narrow crucial health disparities by building a network patients never have to feel embarrassed about contacting! 

Learn more at nurse-1-1.com and reach out to us below!

CirrusMD vs. Nurse-1-1 | Product Comparison

Overview

Choosing a virtual care solution is a critical decision for health plans. While there are many options out there, in this article we’ll help you understand the difference between CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1.  A quick summary—you probably can’t go wrong with either option. Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 are focused on offering health plan members a seamless virtual care solution that empowers them to make better healthcare decisions. Let’s first focus on what they both offer.

Chat-first approach

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 offer virtual care experiences with easy, chat-first services. Texting allows your members to access care wherever they are, without having to find a private place to make a call or to be presentable enough to have a video chat on camera. Text also allows members to send photos that can’t be sent over the phone or may be hard to share on a video chat. 

Chat is asynchronous in its form of communication. It allows both your members and the provider to share information after thinking about it longer than one would while in a phone call or video call. Pauses in text-based chat are expected, while pausing and thinking about an answer on a phone or video call can create an awkward silence that leaves your members questioning the information they are being given.  

Personal touch with live healthcare professionals

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 connect people to a healthcare provider in seconds with secure and HIPAA-compliant websites and apps. 

Allowing people to live chat with a healthcare professional creates a real conversation that influences proper decision making. While bots typically end with a few recommendations for your members, both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 will continue the conversation until there is reassurance and an understanding in the recommendation that is given. This requires empathy, compassion, trust, and influence that only a live experienced healthcare professional can bring. 

Built-in Provider Networks

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 offer their own networks of expert providers who can chat with your members if you do not have the capacity or the providers available to support your virtual care solution. Both CirusMD and Nurse-1-1 are also both flexible to also allow you to integrate with your own provider network or call center if that is preferred. 

ED Diversions

Studies have shown that up to 71% of ED visits are unnecessary, avoidable. One study showed that nurses at telephone triage call centers prevented 2 out of every 3 ER visits or 1 ER visit out of 7 calls. Another study reported a cost reduction of £4,520,000 (USD $5,571,962) from reduced ambulance dispatch. And yet another study reported a 38% reduction in primary care appointments and a 23% reduction in home visits

Furthermore, another study reported a reduction in workload of 54% compared with the previous 3 months and that nurses were able to handle 26% of requests for GP appointments by telephone, whereas another study reported a 39% reduction in demand 

The data strongly supports the use of nurses and advice lines to help patients make proper use of a healthcare service that ultimately reduces costs drastically. 

Improved access to care

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 allow your members to chat without making appointments. Your members are connected 24/7 whenever they have a question or are making an important healthcare decision. 

With no appointments necessary and no need to find a private place to talk, care can truly happen from anywhere. When conversation isn’t time bound, your members share information and providers ask questions more completely, delivering more confident diagnoses and care guidance.

With both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1, your members do not pay for the service. CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 are cost-free solutions for your members. The cost is handled by the entity offering the solution (like an employer group, health plan, university, community health program, etc.) And these groups find it to be cost effective vs. the alternatives. Compared to other telemedicine solutions, this approach is almost completely unheard of in this industry. 

A few ways CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 may differ in their approach

Integration with existing Urgent Care, Primary Care, and Hospital Systems

Nurse-1-1 has partnerships with urgent care clinics and primary care, and is working with hospital systems to leverage its platform. The industry trend is for payers and providers to work together to offer the proper value to members and patients. Nurse-1-1 recognizes this strategy and has created a platform that works with both types of entities. Providers use Nurse-1-1 to provide patients with an improved experience and keep patients in-network and out of emergency rooms when it isn’t necessary.  

By offering its service to both providers and payers, Nurse-1-1 ensures all parties who share the cost burden to offer care to members and work together in an integrated solution. 

Starting with a Google Search

Patients start their journey with a Google search. Google receives more than 1 billion health questions every day. Yeah, ONE BILLION with a “B”.  That is 70,000 each minute! These are your members who turn first to Google and sites like WebMD. These searches that increase anxiety. Nurse-1-1 offers a solution to intervene at this stage, and influence patients away from making irrational and expensive healthcare decisions.   

You need to be where your patients are as they start their illness journeys. Being present as early as possible in this journey allows you to foster these relationships and exert the most influence in their decision-making process. Nurse-1-1 actively conducts local outreach campaigns to target nearby patients as they search for answers. The offer to simply “chat with a nurse” for free, is a low-friction no brainer for them. We frequently engage your members at the moment they need you the most. Our smart routing can then filter and route the appropriate patients and concerns to nurses who can help. 

Price

Text-based approaches allow this level of care to scale, as it fits perfectly into most providers’ workflows. Nurse-1-1’s approach of providing health information without the overhead of telemedicine services allows its service to operate at a fraction of the price of other platforms. Nurse-1-1 is FREE to your members. The cost to your organization is only $12.50 per member chat session. Many third party call centers charge $20 to $30, and most telemedicine services charge $40 to $100 for a video consultation, while still charging the patient an additional fee. Nurse-1-1’s $12.50 price point is a much better deal, while offering the exact service your organization and members need.

We are always interested in talking to progressive organizations about how we can help improve member experience while also cutting costs.  If this sounds interesting, please reach out.  We’d love to tell you more!