Thursday, August 6, 2009

Stanford ED: drive-thru care

Medgadget had a post about a training exercise here at Stanford that involved drive-thru ER care. It's a way to triage patients during high-volume situations (e.g., pandemics or other emergencies. One of the doctors involved -- Greg Gilbert -- teaches in our medical school course.
The volunteer patients made their way through the drive-thru triage as though they were being seen at the emergency room. As cars entered the parking garage, patients registered and were given paperwork. They then drove through one of two lines and stopped at the first station, triage, where nurses and emergency department technicians checked for vital signs — temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration — and gathered the patients' medical backgrounds. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff wore gowns and gloves throughout the exercise.

From there, patients drove another 10 to 15 feet for a medical screening exam, where doctors reviewed the symptoms and made a diagnosis. Finally, they were discharged or admitted to the hospital.

Full article here, via the San Jose Mercury News.

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