NEW GLASGOW – Patients arriving at the Aberdeen Hospital’s emergency department today can expect some changes designed to separate the more seriously ill quicker.
Patients will be seen first by a registered nurse instead of proceeding to the registration desk when they first arrive in the department.
The nurse will prioritize the person for treatment according to the seriousness of the illness or injury. Registration will happen after this assessment, known as triage, takes place. According to the medical treatment needed, patients will be directed to go to the waiting area or to proceed into the emergency department.
This enhancement, called primary triage, is one of the new emergency department standards recommended in Better Care Sooner, the plan to improve emergency care in Nova Scotia.
Primary triage addresses concerns from patients who previously had to wait to be seen by a health professional and streams them into appropriate areas for care.
Patients will be asked a list of standardized questions by the nurse who will document the answers electronically.
“Primary triage means the patient receives quality care and we gather quality patient data,” said Kim Chisholm, health services director for the Pictou County Health Authority.
Volunteers will be in the emergency department for the next few weeks to direct patients to the new primary triage area.