Background It is common for care to be coordinated by a range of health care professionals and administration staff with varying backgrounds and experience. Many services rely on clinical judgement as their triage tool, potentially resulting in a variation in the type of service and response time offered. A triage tool was devised to enable a standardised response to improve patient experience.
Aims of the triage tool Categorise urgency and aid responsiveness. Equitable and fair access to services with a consistent response for patients. Ensure the patient gets the right care, from the right team at the right time.
Method In conjunction with our specialist palliative care teams, a tool was devised that considered the most common symptom issues. Categories were devised and a list of questions prompted our care co-ordination staff to enable a standardised triage process whilst detecting urgency. The tool was trialled over a 12-month period by clinical nurse specialists within the team. Following this trial a finalised version was rolled out for the whole team, training was provided and a standard approach to triage was adopted by all.
Results Patients were given the right response, at the right time from the right team. Increased confidence and reduced anxiety surrounding decisions made. Improved quality of information collected. Reduced the need for repetition for the patient.
Conclusion The triage tool has had several positive outcomes including, but not limited to:
In line with National Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care.
Patients and families are given the same advice and level of service at point of contact.
Improved standard of documentation and communication between services.
Improved patient and family experience.
Improved history-taking skills.
Improved confidence of staff.
Dedicated triage team employed to support process.
Improved symptom management for patients.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.