Process mapping
-Duty team​


Understanding Total Triage

Remember your coach and the EQUIP team can help you with all of this.

During the Covid era it is likely that you are already doing Total triage in some form. The key questions are –

  1. Would you like to modify your processes to match best practice?
  2. Are you likely to continue this once life returns to a normal or semi-normal state?

To make these decisions it would help to look at these areas which are in the Total Triage manual.



Benefits to patients

  1. Higher user satisfaction – patients access a clinician in real time, and more appropriately.
  2. Elimination of travelling, saving on travel costs and reducing the carbon footprint.
  3. Elimation of waiting room time.
  4. Reduced need for face-to-face consultations.
  5. Less of an ‘appointment lottery’
  6. By asking about the reason for contacting the practice, patients are more likely to get their need met by the right person, service or information.
  7. Triage offers the opportunity for continuity with a specific clinician is this is needed.
Benefits to practice

  1. Improved ability to offer contacts (increased throughput) and meet demand.
  2. Opportunties for more learning from colleagues which result in reduction in clinical variation (quantitative and qualitative)
  3. Increased throughput (better access, at comparatively lower cost).
  4. Improved use of skill-mis (including highly trained admin staff).
  5. Reduction in DNA’s to 2% or less..
  6. Reduced acute spend.
  7. Use capacity flexibly, move away from the ’10 minute model’ of care.
  8. ‘Get today’s work done today’, and the work of the consultation done in real-time.
  9. Working in shared rooms can decrease sense of professional isolation.
  10. Helps solidify relationships within the team.
  11. Utilizes resources effectively.
  12. Helps embed a positive culture.

Process Mapping

  • Are you doing similar?
  • Any areas you might want to adjust?

Here it is important that you understand the 3 key areas of the system (signposting, duty team and clinical triage) as well as nuances (how patients are not forced to do an e consult for example) and limits (if demand gets close to capacity it is OK to tell patients that you are only taking urgent calls)


Capacity and Demand

  • What are these for you now?
  • Using historic data what is your demand?
  • Would you want to adopt total triage knowing this?
  • Myth 1 – “Demand is infinite”
  • Myth 2 – “Demand is unpredictable”
  • Myth 3 – “We have two types of demand: urgent and routine”
Your coach will help you understand the myths and realities of demand.

Explore all of the above and if a decision is made to proceed then go on to:

Total Triage Overview
STAGE 2 – Project Set up