OK to all the nurses out there that work in ED's.
In our ED we have been seeing approximately 35,000-38,000 patients a year. Recently in the Cleveland area, two hospital systems have been trying to take over the market (IMO). Anyhow, with the increased ED volume d/t other recent hospital closings, longer lifespan, more patients in nursing homes etc, our census has skyrocketed, and we have seen many more patients than anticipated. One of the things I am currently trying to do, is come up with some new ideas on how to appropriately triage the large numbers of patients that come through the ED,
more efficiently. So let me ask you a few questions about your ED's current triage methods, and your thoughts on them?
1) How does your ED triage it's patients?
2) Do you think your system works well? or not? If so why does it work or not work well?
3) If you were to restructure your current triage system, how would you do it? Staffing
4) Any suggestions on what thoughts might make a triage system better?
Currently, we have one triage nurse in our system. This person is overwhelmed with way too many responsibilities. Triage itself, and communicating between family members, and updating them on their loved ones condition, checking the locked refridgerator for drug specimens, etc. Clearly too much for one person to handle on some of our busier days.
A) Using two nurses in triage, to assess get vs, and catagorize the patients as they come into the ed. Something along these lines?
B) How to arrange it to be more expedient, and see patients soon as they come through the door, not 5 to 20 minutes later, or longer.
C) In what particular way to use these two nurses?
****Note: For all those out there that are unaware of this fact: It is a violation of COBRA rules, to have the patient register, provide any demographic info, or insurance or payment, without being assessed by a health care worker first.
Thanks for any input provided, Rick RN CEN