New triage, physician-nurse huddles, discharge time outs new strategies to stop patient harm in ER

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

May 11, 2011

Crico/RMF Strategies, whose parent company insures hospitals affiliated with Harvard University, is trying out different strategies to reduce harm in the emergency room, including triage patients into obstetrics, pediatrics, and psychiatry, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Another strategy is working hard to get patients into beds where the nurse and physician see the patient at the same time, eliminating communication issues that often occur in the emergency department. Yet another strategy includes advising providers to not overlook the potential for heart attack and stroke in the under 60 population, even going as far as admitting everyone who presents with chest pain. Crico/RMF Strategies says this might be worth the effort, because the risk of death is so high.

Discharge time outs are also recommended by the company, explaining that often times, this gives providers the chance to see something that might have been overlooked, or hear an important comment from a patient for the first time that might indicate admission rather than discharge