As emergency triage and advanced interventions continue to grow more difficult, both in volume and in complexity, the average waiting time in hospital emergency departments continues to escalate. Patient dissatisfaction is only the most visible evidence of the growing crisis. Patients with lesser complaints and better insurance are seeking alternative treatment centers, leaving hospitals to deal with the more critically impaired and/or financially less desirable patients that deplete resources from already financially over-strained hospitals. Fast CAT is provides an enhanced triage environment where consistency, safety and efficiency are intertwined with increased patient satisfaction.
The Computer-Assisted Advanced Triage System delivers the accuracy, flexibility and reproducibility required to accelerate the flow of patients through the ED by initiating treatment earlier and in parallel with clinical assessment. The model of triage most often used today is Experiential: using an ED Nurse to separate patients based on accumulated experience. The most experienced ED Nurses are required to be out of the treatment areas separating the patients. Our Formulaic or formula based model is designed to replace the experiential model with one that surpasses its performance while correcting its major weaknesses. The most experienced nursing resources are kept in the treatment area, caring for patients, while maintaining efficient channeling of new patients in a disciplined, protocol directed, reproducible manner that is neatly integrated with clinical treatment records, documenting their care in detail.
A brief triage encounter may not be adequate to determine if the patient is stable enough for referral away from the ED and into a less acute treatment setting. Therefore, triage as it is traditionally performed should not be confused with the more detailed medical screening examination (MSE) required by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)… It should be noted that, with the proper prerequisites in place, our Fast CAT system provides the backbone and documentation for satisfaction of the EMTALA requirement.
Patients are separated at triage into groups that are based on their acuity or severity. The most severely injured or acutely ill patients are taken into the ED as soon as possible and those who are not as sick have to wait until space and resources are available for them. Those patients are often sent for further tests or studies, when they are seen for the first time, after waiting a variable amount of time. When the test and study results are available, the patient is seen again, often to be sent home with a referral and or treatment. This familiar and standard method of care we call a Two Touch Visit. Even in the most efficient EDs, that first wait can be an hour or two and the second wait is usually at least an hour.
In the One Touch Visit that is a natural result of the Fast CAT System, where constructive parallelism is used to reduce the total elapsed time for a particular patient's care utilizing inferential logic and customized intervention sets, patients' tests and studies are processed while they are waiting to be seen. When those secondary patient waits are folded into the patients' initial waits, significant improvements in efficiency and patient satisfaction appear.
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