In the midst of a busy day, it’s not always easy to call my doctor’s office to get advice or schedule an appointment. It’s even harder when I have to leave a message, and I’m in a meeting when the office calls back. Sometimes, it can take hours or even days to resolve the issue.

Today’s patients expect more. The experience they have on those calls, and whether everything is resolved quickly and easily, affects their overall experience with a practice as much as interaction during in-person appointments.

Through the Allscripts Developer Program, we provide lots of options to help providers connect with patients to help resolve patient questions, issues and needs as efficiently and effectively as possible. Health Desk, by Keona Health, is a tool that can help providers effectively engage with patients calling or asking for health advice over smartphones, tablets or computers.

Health Desk is a ticketing and expert system for telephone triage for medical practices. What’s more, it’s the only software of its kind integrated into Allscripts Professional EHR™ and Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR platforms.

While many practices may focus on documentation and protocol consistency for telephone triage, they also need to meet patient expectations of fast resolution times and consistent service across the practice – no matter which doctor and nurse they see.

Health Desk is an Allscripts-certified application that:

  • Guides front-desk staff through triage intake when patients first call
  • Helps route calls appropriately with full documentation, so patients don’t repeat themselves
  • Enables providers to implement custom protocols and routing
  • Streamlines after-hours handling and documentation, removing daily faxes
  • Includes clinical decision support
  • Supports consistent workflow and patient service
  • May reduce liability by automating triage documentation and sending data directly to the electronic health record (EHR)

Health Desk improves triage at UNC Campus Health Services

UNC-Chapel Hill Campus Health Services implemented Health Desk, and then studied the implementation through an NIH grant. UNC Director of Campus Health Services Dr. Mary Cov­ington, led the implementation and study to measure the op­erational improvements of incorporating non-clinical electronic triage protocols.

The UNC study found that using Health Desk was up to 43% faster for nurses than traditional telephone triage. It helped patients get needed care sooner in 32% of encounters. 77% of patients said they’d use it next time they had a health problem to save time and get reassurance.

“Through our partnership with Keona, we demonstrated the ability to improve nurse efficiency, maintain safety, and improve satisfaction for patients who used it. We’re excited to continue offering this solution to our student body,” Dr. Covington said.

Allscripts clients can learn more about Keona Health’s certified patient triage solution, Health Desk, during two webinars on July 29. TouchWorks users can register here, and Professional EHR users can register here. Learn more about this innovative patient triage solution on the Allscripts Application Store.

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About the author

Tina is the Director of the Allscripts Developer Program at Allscripts. Tina is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Allscripts Developer Program, ensuring information, documentation and support is available for developers through online tools like the Allscripts’ Developer Portal (, and marketing the applications and integration built by developers directly to our client base through the Allscripts Application Store ( Prior to her role in developer relations, she served as Associate General Counsel for Allscripts, with responsibilities for third-party contracting and partner management, client contracts, privacy and security issues and labor and employment matters.


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