Nurse Advice Line offers health beneficiaries a ‘great resource’

| June 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
TRICARE beneficiaries with non-life-threatening health-related questions may be able to skip the emergency room, such as Tripler Army Medical Center, and call the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line, instead. NAL is available 24/7 and connects beneficiaries with registered nurses who are on hand to help. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

TRICARE beneficiaries with non-life-threatening health-related questions may be able to skip the emergency room, such as Tripler Army Medical Center, and call the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line, instead. NAL is available 24/7 and connects beneficiaries with registered nurses who are on hand to help. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Ana Allen
Pacific Regional Medical Command                            
Public Affairs
HONOLULU — It always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time or place.

A worrisome health issue comes up and you’ve got questions.

If only you had a medical professional standing by to answer your immediate questions over the phone no matter when or where.
Enter the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line.

The Nurse Advice Line (NAL), available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, launched on Oahu last year and has connected TRICARE beneficiaries with registered nurses (RNs) to obtain professional medical advice.

Since then, the NAL has helped many beneficiaries in a time of need.
RNs are readily available to answer a variety of urgent health care questions and help beneficiaries decide whether self-care is the best option or if it’s better to see a health care provider.

“The NAL is a great resource for new mothers who need advice about caring for their baby, or have a concern, but are not sure if they should call the doctor, said Marsha Graham, Pacific Regional Medical Command Army Medical Home nursing consultant.

Yvonne Harrington is a mom who recently used NAL and couldn’t agree more.

Harrington’s 6-year-old daughter had a painful, ruptured eardrum over a four-day holiday weekend.

“As her condition changed over the weekend, I was unsure if she needed to be seen. I called the NAL and was triaged by an RN. During that call, she scheduled us to be seen at Schofield Barracks’ Urgent Care. The staff at Schofield Barracks’ Urgent Care were great, and the process was convenient and efficient. I would never hesitate to use the NAL in the future,” Harrington said.

Another beneficiary, Margo Kwasnoski, said she recently used the advice line and found it to be an easy, convenient and professional service.

“The nurse was so nice, and they even followed up with me twice, 48 hours after. I would recommend it,” said Kwasnoski.

Callers to the toll free number can expect a customer service representative to verify eligibility before being connected with an experienced and trained registered nurse who will ask a series of standard questions, allowing them to provide the best advice possible.

NAL also has the potential of decreasing emergency room visits to only true emergencies.

“The NAL soft-launched in 12 medical facilities where 95 percent of the callers had an intention of going to the Emergency Department. Once the nurse helped them navigate through their symptoms, 51 percent ended up just needing self-care, with 20 percent needing same-day appointments or urgent care,” Graham said.

“NAL has provided additional support for Army families in transition during the PCS (permanent change of station) months, helping them to find urgent health care in unfamiliar new places.”

The advice line has other benefits, as well, according to Graham.
The NAL can also work in tandem with another TRICARE tool, TRICARE Online Portal. These two tools give beneficiaries the ability of taking charge of their own health care. When used together, beneficiaries are able to look up their own health information, make referrals and even communicate with providers from the comfort of their home.

Phone Access
Call the NAL at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273); Option 1.

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Category: Community, Health

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