How does triage work in the emergency room?

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emergency room nurse and patient in triageTriage means “to sort.” Emergency rooms must have a way of sorting patients to ensure that the patients who need care first to avoid serious injuries or death receive it before other patients with less urgent medical needs.

ER Triage Policies and Procedures

While every Kentucky emergency room should triage patients, triage policies and procedures may differ between emergency rooms. Successful triage policies and procedures may be based on evidence-based triage programs and analysis of the emergency room’s past patient data.

All triage procedures depend on the ER staff to:

  • Collect information from patients (or whoever accompanies them to the emergency room)
  • Analyze that information and make decisions based upon it
  • Provide the necessary care in a timely way based on the triage information and analysis

Some of the things that could be part of an ER’s triage policy include:

  • Developing a short list of questions for a triage nurse to ask a patient
  • Assigning a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to triage, so that tests and medications may be ordered as soon as possible, even if an ER bed is not yet available
  • Determining if the patient requires life-saving treatment
  • Determining if the patient is a complicated medical case

Regardless of their specific policies and procedures, each ER has a duty to provide reasonable care for its patients. Failing to provide reasonable care can cause severe, potentially life-threatening injuries.

ER Triage Errors and Injuries

When ER staff members fail to follow triage policies and procedures, ER patients could be hurt by mistakes that lead to their delay in care. When these mistakes amount to medical malpractice, the injured patients or their survivors may have the right to recover damages.

Our experienced Kentucky ER delayed care lawyers are here to help you:

  • Find out what happened
  • Assess your claim
  • Fight for your fair and just recovery, if appropriate

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us so that we can talk about your rights, potential compensation, and our No Fee Policy.

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