Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, MS, developed a two-stage triage process that has helped improved throughput and many other aspects of care in the ED.
The first stage, T1, is a rapid triage that assigns beds to patients in acuity levels 1, 2, 4, and 5. Only acuity level 3 patients go on to the second stage, T2. Level 3 patients typically require significant resources, so a further assessment is needed to properly direct their path after triage. A registrar works in parallel with the triage nurse, conducting a mini-registration that includes documenting the name and birthday, applying a wrist band, and obtaining consent from the patient. An ED technician also is present to take the patient to an exam room or the T2 assessment. The technician also notifies the T1 nurse of new patient arrivals.
In T2, a nurse obtains additional information and assigns the patient to an exam room, sending him or her to one area for a soft 3 and another for a hard 3. An ED technician obtains vital signs and takes the patient to the assigned bed.