If you work as an emergency medical technician, nurse, or doctor, you’ll agree that the profession is filled with quite a variety of challenges. Time and again, you hear that dreaded ambulance siren out of the blue. Then, you realize you have to act fast or else the patient will succumb to the life-threatening situation. Most experienced emergency care workers have learned to handle such situations with calm, while others still develop butterflies in their stomachs and panic greatly.
Perhaps the panic arises from the fact that medical negligence is one of the leading causes of death in the world. No one really wants to be blamed for anybody’s death. So, how should you handle medical emergencies, taking into consideration the usual pressure that accompanies such situations?
Here are six handy tips to improve the emergency health process:
Improve The Patient Registration Process
Patient registration has continuously been termed one of the most complex processes, especially in the emergency department of hospitals. Typically, you need to collect the following information from the patient before you proceed with the treatment process:
- Patient demographic information, including the date of birth, gender, address, nationality/ethnicity/race, contact information, education, and employment
- Patient medical history, including allergies to certain medications, personal medical conditions, family history of medical conditions, and current medications (if any)
- Insurance provider
- Health payer coverage
Especially notorious is the process of verifying how the hospital bill will be split between the patient, private insurer, and the public health program.
One way to improve the patient registration process is through a pre-registration. Ideally, you need to have in place a dedicated team tasked with collecting patient information before the patient steps into the hospital. This can usually be done over the phone or internet via an online registration form. It really saves time for both the patient and the staff.
Another great idea is to adopt a fully automated patient registration software. You may opt for either a desktop or mobile app, or both. A good one should integrate information from public and workplace health programs, as well as private insurers. The idea is to automatically calculate what part of the bill should be footed by each entity, instead of calling all the concerned parties one by one for confirmation. You’ll save a lot of time by quickly proving the eligibility of a patient, and thus attend to him faster with this automated patient registration software.
Invest In Portable Medical Interventions
During emergencies, it helps to have medical kits and essential supplies that may help you save lives even before the patient is taken to the hospital. For example, an automated external defibrillator (AED) may assist with Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) by re-establishing an effective rhythm of the heart. Quick and portable medical interventions such as Avive solutions are believed to be extremely reliable in supporting people’s lives at once.
Reduce The Waiting Time In The Emergency Room
Generally, patients and their families expect a shorter waiting time and rapid response once they arrive at the emergency department. The waiting time refers to how much time a patient has to wait before he’s attended to by a medical professional.
A patient will typically have to undergo stages like triage (assessing how urgent the patient’s condition is), patient registration, nursing evaluation, physician assessment, consultation between doctors, investigation, and the actual treatment. Each of these stages may involve some waiting time. While these waiting times are inevitable, they may be truncated.
To reduce the waiting time, ensure that the emergency department is adequately staffed. An understaffed hospital will definitely slow down the patient flow. Also, design the physical layout of the emergency department in such a manner that maximizes the number of patients that can be seen at any particular time. If possible, set up temporary healthcare buildings to cater for unforeseen spikes in patient numbers.
You may also want to review some of the hospital policies linked to extended wait times for patients. Suppose your hospital has set a maximum wait time of 6 weeks from the time a patient is assessed by a specialist to the time he undergoes surgery. Is there a possibility to reduce this maximum wait time to, say, 3 weeks without compromising standard surgery guidelines?
Use Artificial Intelligence To Improve Healthcare Delivery And Patient Flow
Gone are the days when doctors had to peruse through voluminous books before they could propose treatments for complex conditions. Current technology allows you to analyze numerous data sets using AI algorithms and instantaneously deduce life-saving information.
For instance, you may use AI for dosage prescription so as to reduce possible prescription errors. You understand that one extra dose of medicine may adversely affect a patient.
Schedule More Staff During The Predictable Peak Times
By studying the flow of patients into the emergency department for a year or so, you can reliably predict the time of the day, day of the week, or month of the year when patients are likely to be more than average. Use this information to increase the number of staff on duty and avoid being caught off-guard—overwhelmed and outnumbered by the volume of patients needing immediate health care services. Involving emergency medicine locums is another viable option for an under-staffed hospital or practice.
Respect The Time Of The Patients And Clinicians
You’re certainly aware of that hospital staff who intentionally and unnecessarily spends a lot of time on one patient so that he won’t need to accommodate others and do extensive work all throughout their shift. Remember, your action or inaction may help save a life or lose one.
Therefore, recommit yourself to the oath of saving lives, irrespective of the patient background or your prevailing frustrations. Respect the time of your fellow workers and that of the patients.
Taking All Into Account
There’s something you can do as a medical worker to improve the emergency health processes. First and foremost, cultivate a selfless attitude. Have the heart to help patients and save lives. Next, work on hospital processes that are known to slow down the patient flow. Also, use technology to your advantage. By doing these, you’re bound to come out as a reliable emergency health professional.