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Nursing issues
Telehealth assessment by nurses is a high-level skill where interpretation involves the use of paralanguage as well as objective information
  1. Linda McGrath,
  2. Amelia Swift
  1. School of Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Linda McGrath, School of Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; L.P.McGrath{at}

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Commentary on: Wouters LT, Zwart DL, ErkelensDC, et al. Tinkering and overruling the computer decision support system: working strategies of telephone triage nurses who assess the urgency of callers suspected of having an acute cardiac event. J Clin Nurs 2019; 29:1175–86.

Implications for practice and research

  • A buddy/peer support system for less experienced telephone triage nurseswith continual training and updates for all telenurseswould guide and support decision making.

  • Further research is needed to explore paralanguage and the creation of mental images in telephone triage, especially their impact on patient outcomes.


The use of telephone triage systems in healthcare is on the increase worldwide especially in remote areas. This research paper1 provides valuable insights into the decision-making process used by staff working in telephone triage with clear discussion on the prescribed process and on nurses’ intuition and experience. …

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  • Twitter @nurseswift

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.