Khaled Al Qawasmeh qualified with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Oncology Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. He is an Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) since 2009. Khaled has gained the prestigious Clinical Research Certification By SOCRA USA. Khaled is currently the president of the Emirates Oncology Nursing Society.
Telephone triage is when a medical professional, usually a registered nurse, speaks by telephone to a patient and assesses the patient's symptoms or health concerns, and offers advice. The telephone triage nurses must be able to assess a client’s health concerns without the advantage of visual inspection or face-to-face interaction. Nurses must rely on their communication skills, knowledge of disease processes, and normal growth and development for all age groups in order to ascertain an accurate understanding of the caller’s symptoms.
The objectives of the triage service for oncology patients are to provide guidance to timely and appropriate care for patients with acute symptoms, decrease the number of unscheduled clinic visits, and reduce unnecessary visits to ED. Patients were informed about the phone service through posters, pamphlets, cards, and SMS texts. The telephone assessment tool used by nursing is based on a standardized Tool Kit from the UK Oncology Nurses Society (UKONS) that uses a Red, Amber, and Green (RAG) scoring system. In 14 months 8,128 patients called; 9% of the calls were related to clinical symptoms, and 91% related to other reasons. An average of 15 patients per day, making a total of 471 patients, called with clinical symptoms and were classified according to the RAG scoring system as follow: 102 Red, 183 Amber, and 186 Green; of the patients classified as red, 72 (61%) were told to present immediately to the Emergency Department. 89% of the respondent patients would have either called the physician (47%) or gone to the clinic (42%) without an appointment if the phone service had not been available.