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Telehealth Guideline Competency (2017)

This CE Course is  no longer available for purchase.   Age-based Guidelines are available as a book on Amazon now

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This CE course explains the 5-level triage process of telephone triage, as well as how to correctly operate  Telehealth Guidelines.  Telephone triage or telehealth guidelines are decision support tools, in paper or in software format, utilized by clinicians performing telephone triage. These “expert systems” provide decision support for the interview and assessment process.

In addition to CE Course this package include three more System Components:  3 volumes of either:  Telehealth Guidelines for Adult, School Age or Infant-Child Populations,  Standards Manual (82 pages) & Audiolink to case studies (2005) 60 minutes

This course provides an overview of the components of a decision support system: the User’s Guide, age-based guidelines and documentation form. It addresses the decisionmaking process, prioritization, critical thinking skills, documentation, common pitfalls while introducing assessment and decision support tools of Red Flags, Red Herrings and Rules of Thumb.


Woman-with-headsetAUDIENCE: RNs and Nurse Practitioners, Physicians*, Residents*

METHODOLOGY: Through the learning methodologies of reading the text, utilizing guidelines, applying critical thinking to written simulations, participants will improve their telehealth guideline competency.

BEHAVIORAL OBJECTIVES: Upon completion, readers will be able to:

  • Define the decision support theory underlying the protocol design
  • Proficiently match 20 presenting problems with the correct protocols
  • Utilize a problem solving methodology
  • Describes correct operation of  Guideline and Documentation Form
  • Form a Nursing Risk Diagnosis (or “Working Diagnosis”)
  • Understand the purpose of three key telehealth guidelines

Research and Clinical Decision Making

Research on nurse decisionmaking by Patel and other experts (1995) supports the overall approach and design of these telehealth guidelines.  In addition to the use of the nursing process and nursing risk assessment, Sheila Wheeler subscribes to pattern recognition, rules of thumb and context in estimating symptom urgency.  Ms. Wheeler and her 20+ member team built these features into the format design and system components (clinical training, standards and documentation form).

These guidelines were designed to mimic how the brain naturally solves problems in “real world” situations. Because patient histories are often complex and symptom presentations ill-structured, novel, variable and/or unique, a telehealth system must be able to address these challenges  — flexible, attuned to symptom nuances and subtleties while providing firm support for decision making.

Whether telehealth or telephone triage, all clinical call center facilities performing this service should have in place a system (“an interdependent group of items forming a whole and serving a common purpose”).   Telephone triage and even telehealth is filled with uncertainty, requiring fail-safes and well-integrated components.   This system has both. Thus, the designers of these guidelines intend them to be used by clinicians with substantive decision making experience.


“This book is one of the only books I know of that has pertinent positives and negatives for common chief complaints. I’m a medical student, and I’ve been looking for a book like this for a while. I don’t know anything about nursing protocols, but I will say that it has been a very useful book for coming up with relevant lines of questioning while taking an H and P.  Each chapter is a chief complaint, and the pertinent positives are arranged from most severe/emergent to least. It doesn’t have any confusing flow charts, unlike most other triage books. And, more importantly, it gives you the possible diagnosis for each pertinent positive finding, which a lot of triage books don’t do. I think it’s brilliant.” –  Celsio Gonzalez (link)


 Adult,  School Age or Infant-Child telephone triage guidelines, Audiolink to 10 Case studies. 

This CE Course is  no longer available for purchase.   Age-based Guidelines are available as a book on Amazon now

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