I am the Employee Health Nurse at Flowers Hospital Dothan, Alabama. I am also on the Pandemic Flu planning committee. HHS & CDC are espousing the use of phone triage to limit the amount of unnecessary ER visits for hangnails, back pain for 7 years and so forth during the surge of pandemic flu patients. Our hospital policy prohibits, as does most, the giving of medical advice over the phone. Now I understand that once most disaster/flu emergency response plans are activated most rules are out of the window but I would appreciate any and all responses on your policy and your opinions on the phone triage subject as well as the official stance your facility is taking. Please include your facility name and your title if possible.
Thanks and God Bless,
Dec 14, '06
Triage protocols are written/ coauthored by physicians. A facility's medical director can sign off on these. This paves the way for the protocols to be utilized by registered nurses. Triage is NOT medical advice.
Telephone triage is a process by which a registered nurse listens to the symptoms reported by a patient and advises them which level of medical care the patient should seek.
Some protocols provide home care instructions (what to do until you get to the ED). Again, these are reviewed by the facility's medical director who can either sign off on them or not allow such protocols to be used.
Hope this helps you in your quest for information.