Optimizing Pediatric Telephone Triage and Telehealth to Decrease Surge during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Molly Moran, MSN, RN, CCRN; Karyn Dionne-Quiros, BSN, RN, AMB-BC; Kristine Mortimore, MSN, RN


Pediatr Nurs. 2021;47(3):143-144. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Over the past year, we have seen a huge shift in the health care industry. With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to overwhelm hospitals nationwide, the critical role that nurse telephone triage plays in preventing surge has become even clearer. However, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal emergency preparedness plans, including the Pandemic Influenza Triage Tools (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016), did not include telephone triage as a means to prevent surge. These tools also do not mention the critical pediatric-specific considerations that must be taken under advisement when rapidly assessing patients during a pandemic associated with influenza-like illness (ILI) to ensure proper and timely disposition. We hope to provide an overview of our organization's work during the early days of the pandemic to close this critical gap.