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Unorthodox ways to improve triage

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I have some recommendations for triage. These recommendations are not based on evidence, research or anything that remotely resembles scholarly thinking.

They are just based only on my humble and creative opinion. I don’t know how your triage area works but ours is a little bit of a pain to maneuver around; especially when you have someone in a wheelchair. So I thought of an idea where you sit all the patients in wheelchairs and program the chairs with numbers.

Then, much like the dry cleaners, you punch in the number and the patient is brought to you via a motorized rack mounted to the ceiling. Think of the benefits! No more straining your voice yelling over the din of the waiting room! No more crashing wheelchairs into walls. No more lost patients! The possibilities are definitely promising!!

My second improvement has to do with patients going to the back first based on talent, ala American Idol style. Of course, those people who are the MOST sick would still go back first, I am not unethical or anything. But the remaining mid acuity patients could compete and those who are the most entertaining, talented, or otherwise thought provoking could have their care expedited.

It may be a little unorthodox but it might just provide a solution to the ED overcrowding problem that we face daily. Or at the very least, it would make the shift go by faster!

Rebekah Child
Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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