Assembly Line Triage???

Check this out. What you will see is an interesting presentation of one side of a story. It is a discussion of a triage process, now being established in ER waiting rooms, that has a practitioner ask a few standardized questions and perhaps have some lab tests ordered before the patient’s waiting process begins. The writer apparently takes umbrage at the abbreviated form of this initial encounter, arguing that while it increases hospital profits it interferes with the delivery of quality patient care.

Yeah, BUT!!! As long as I have been studying healthcare, people have been rightfully bemoaning the abuse of ER’s. Translated, many patients have no doctor, and use the ER as their Primary Care Physician, often with little or no ability to pay for the care they receive. All of this mixed in with gunshot wounds and heart attacks. In this environment, is it any wonder that institutions are trying to make the intake process more efficient, even at the expense of a patient’s presenting story getting “cut short?”

Bottom Line. I think there is something more pervasive here. Call me old and cynical if you will. I am certainly both. But it seems that in life in general, and in healthcare in particular, 2019 has seen a lot of complaining that things are not “ideal.”  News flash. In the delivery of healthcare, things are very seldom ideal, and providers in many cases are simply trying to do the best that they can with the cards that they have been dealt. 

I would like to set a new rule. Any complaining about the way things are needs to be accompanied by a practical recommendation as to how they should be. Hint:  Saying that things should go back to being like they were in the “good old days” does not qualify!!!

 

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