Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What would happen in the ER if ...?

Following up on the previous post, what do you think would happen if patients began demanding some accountability from the emergency room staff? Suppose patients came in with a form that the triage staff would fill out. It would begin something like this:

I am visiting the ER because of: (chief complaint)
The reasonable amount of time I can expect to wait to see a doctor is:
The name of the doctor I will see is:
How many patients does the doctor need to see before me:
The doctor ultimately responsible for my care in this ER is:

It would also include the following qualifier:

I am aware that there are other patients in the ER and that the staff is busy and shorthanded, but this is NOT my responsibility and I should not suffer for it.


Blogger Kim said...

I'd add the name of the triage nurse as someone to whom you could go for updates.

Problem: there is no true ability to state the time. You don't know what is coming in a minute or an hour from then.

On a bad day, and I mean a bad day, our wait time is 3 hours. That is nothing compared to other ERs.

But to ask for an actual time is like asking the impossible.

However, updates on where you stand from the Triage nurse is a good thing.

And, frankly, other patients in the department ARE going to affect the incoming patient if they are MIs or CVAs or GI Bleeds or in excruciating pain (like your son and that bad infection); these will take priority
and will go ahead of those less acute.

10:01 PM  

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