Support through the Triage Process

Triage is often the first point of contact into an organisation. It aims to improve access to services by effectively managing demand whilst also meeting clients’ needs and expectations.  

The triage process can take place when a Triage Adviser or Advice Centre Receptionist receives a referral from an external agency/third party organisation, or speaks directly to a client who needs internally referred to another experienced Adviser. 

Triage is a proven, effective tool to help identify areas of urgency and help to improve organisational processes. It can be used to quickly identify clients with emergencies, from those with less time sensitive issues.  It promotes consistency, which improves access to the services as clients are quickly directed to the most appropriate service to meet their needs. Triage helps to establish client need, their preferences and vulnerabilities and it can help the organisation prioritise the effective use of resources.

Triage may have its own benefits and challenges, what may work well for one organisation or project may not for another. There are a number of scenarios where the triage process may work well for your organisation, for example:

  • If there is a dedicated Triage Adviser or Main Receptionist;
  • Where there are specific projects providing specialist advice outside that of general advice;
  • Where a project provides targeted advice in one area or to a specific group of clients; or
  • Where there is a need to manage workloads.

A Triage guide has been developed for the sector and can be found on the Advice NI Quality Portal.  If you have thought about introducing a Triage system and want a chat about how to help support your front line staff or streamline the operational systems of your organisation, please get in touch for support and guidance. 

Marie Gilmore,

Quality Manager

Advice NI

028 9064 5919

Working hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.