Emergency Medicine 4

Thursday, August 04, 2016

In health care, the promise of first come, first served doesnt always apply, especially in emergency medicine. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses triage and its role in emergency care.

Dr. Hill:

While waiting can sometimes be irritating, triage protocols are used in many physician settings to make sure patients receive timely and appropriate care.

Because the volume of patient admissions to an emergency department cannot be precisely planned, the available resources may become overwhelmed at times.

Triage is the prioritizing of patients based on the severity of their condition. It is routinely used by physicians and hospitals to best utilize medical resources.

If you go to an emergency department or urgent care clinic, a nurse documents your complaints, assesses your vital signs and symptoms, and then determines the urgency of care required. Certain medical conditions require more immediate medical attention.

Triage is even used in physicians offices. Appointments are scheduled sooner for those with immediate medical problems. If you call for medical advice, you may be asked to leave a message and wait for a return call. Because of triage, it is very important to take time to accurately describe your symptoms and medical history.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.