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ED: Split-flow model and the quick-look nurse

It’s late.  You arrive at the ER.  A quick-look nurse gives you a 5-minute mini-triage.  If you’re in really bad shape, you get sent right to the main ER, bypassing triage.  If you’re obviously not so very sick, you are sent right to the split-flow intake area, also bypassing triage.  If it’s not clear how sick you are, you are triaged. 

In this model, patients in the main ER typically undergo traditional processing, but those in the split-flow intake area are attended by a 3-person team of RN, physician or mid-level practitioner, and patient care tech, all working together.  How to plan for this model using a demand-to-capacity staffing methodology is reviewed.  An example of a hospital that has made a success of the split-flow model is Euclid Hospital (Euclid, OH).

Why do I like this article?  It’s pragmatic and provides helpful details about the process.

Source: Harris, M., and Wood, J.  Resuscitate ED metrics with split-flow design.  HFM. Healthcare Financial Management;66(12):76-79, Dec. 2012.  Click here for the publisher’s website: http://www.hfma.org/Publications/hfm-Magazine/Archives/2012/December/Resuscitate-ED-Metrics-with-Split-Flow-Design/ Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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