We aim to show Care Navigators and other first point of contact staff, the benefits of initially ‘probing’ to identify the reason for the request for an appointment or call back. Many appointments or call backs (telephone triage/consultations) are given to patients who do not require either a face to face consultation, contact with a clinician, or with the wrong health care professional. True Care Navigation encourages non-clinical staff to determine what is best for the patient, using good communication skills and engagement to ensure callers are satisfied with the solution offered by the Care Navigator. This may include signposting outside the service or management of the request by a non-clinical member of staff. If probing is done effectively, it can result in a huge proportion of appointments requested being diverted elsewhere.
If face to face consultation or call back is required, it is then important that the Care Navigator is able to determine the urgency to help prioritise the patient and navigate to the right level of care to help facilitate the right outcome for patients.