SMMC constructs Triage Room in ER

The original article can be found in: The Daily Herald

CAY HILL–In an effort to enhance its services, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has constructed a Triage Room in its emergency room where patients can be assessed in private.

The new Triage Room was built adjoining the waiting area in the Emergency Room (ER). In the ER, patients are not treated on a first come first serve basis, but on the severity of their health situation. To determine in which order the patients see the doctor, an assessment is made.

The newly built Triage Room will offer patients privacy during this assessment. This new space will give SMMC the opportunity to give care sooner, the medical center said in a press release over the weekend.

Triage is the assessment of a patient’s condition to determine the order of treatment. In the emergency room nurses assess the patient during triage. Though triage is a system used by nurses, in the emergency room doctors and nurses work closely together and so the doctor must have knowledge of this process, SMMC said.

Before making use of the room to fully implement Triage in the ER, a total of 24 ER doctors and nurses and other critical care workers at SMMC received Triage training from MeduProf-S Philip Vriend, a team leader with 18 years of nursing experience in the ER. The staff received training about giving clinical priority, asking questions, taking vital signs, privacy and examination of a patient.

The training included theoretical and practical training over a period of 5 days in October. Early next year, Vriend will return to evaluate how the process is working in the hospital’s emergency room and to give on-the-job coaching.

With this training and the facility to fully implement triage, the quality of care at SMMC’s emergency services will improve by reducing risky situations that occur during a patient’s wait for assessment.

In any emergency room, short waiting times cannot be guaranteed as a patient’s waiting time can increase if there is suddenly a more urgent case, SMMC said. However, the time of making first contact with a care worker to assess the patient’s current health condition will significantly be improved at SMMC. Every patient who enters the emergency room will have Triage care within 15 minutes. After triage, the nurses will remain vigilant regarding the patient’s health status up until the patient is seen and treated by the ER doctor.

“At our ER, we give immediate professional care to about 13,000 emergency visits each year and we know that in emergencies patients and family members are stressed and anxious. Yet at all times, the care workers at the emergency room are doing their best to help our patients as quickly and efficiently as possible,” SMMC said.

“It has guaranteed the SMMC a more structured and timely screening of our patients before seeing the ER doctor. We will keep informing the community of our new changes in the Emergency Room. What we want to accomplish, is for our patients to know and feel that they are getting the best of care in our Emergency Room,” SMMC Manager of Patient Care was quoted as saying in the press release

“This Triage room is one of many changes we are making in our hospital for the improvement of patient care,” Kees Klarenbeek from the board of directors added.

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