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Monday, August 6, 2007

"The doctor will triage you now"

, says a new study published in Academic Emergency Medicine. Lead author Dr Brian Holroyd, speaking to the Edmonton Journal, called the TLP idea the "most effective" change that the University Hospital ED has made to reduce wait times. :

The new doctor, who works 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, takes all phone calls from ambulances and rural centres so other treating doctors aren't interrupted at patients' bedsides. The doctor also helps the triage nurses by visiting patients in the waiting room and on ambulance gurneys, and ordering early blood work and lab tests so that there is no delay when the patient gets a bed.

That extra physician hand decreased the total amount of time spent in emergency to four hours and 21 minutes from four hours and 57 minutes. The time is measured from when a patient walks in the doors until he or she is completely treated or else admitted.

Unfortunately, the hospital's innovative wait-time reduction strategy is being undermined by an overall physician shortage, .

Photo: Dr Holroyd talks to Capital Health dignitaries (www.capitalhealth.ca)

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