This Hospital Found an Ingenious Way to Treat Patients Better

'Bouncer nurses' at the entrance of the ER check every patient before they even enter the hospital and direct them to the care they need.

Feb 25, 2019

New advances in medicine and healthcare are helping people to live longer and healthier lives. Medical accessibility has increased in almost the entire developed world and nowhere is this more evident than in emergency care.

Millions of people visit emergency rooms every year for injuries ranging from a headache to life-threatening wounds. The results are often near endless lines and hours spent waiting for what often is only a quick check and a bandaid.

At the same time, for life-threatening injuries, every second counts and shaving precious minutes off of wait times can literally mean saving a person’s life.

That's why the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in Dorset, in the southeastern end of the United Kingdom, has started a new initiative to shorten wait times in Accident & Emergency department rooms (A&E), as emergency rooms are called in the UK - and it is already making a real difference.

The British hospital has stationed a ‘bouncer nurse’ right at the entrance of the ER before patients even reach the reception. The highly-trained nurse immediately assesses the patients when they arrive and can determine if their case truly is urgent or not.

At the end of the so-called clinical streaming process, the nurse will either refer the patient to the emergency room, the patient's own physician or to a pharmacy depending on their specific needs. The hospital’s strict policy is that nobody is just sent away without getting the attention they need.

Tracey Turley, a streaming assessment nurse in Bournemouth, said that streaming is not a new policy but it is an effective one. “As an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, we are able to identify patients’ needs quickly and refer to the most appropriate service available,” she said. “Providing this service ensures patient safety is paramount, and no patient will be sent away without a suitable clinical pathway.”

The staff said the new system has greatly reduced wait times for patients. “If we weren’t streaming, the department would be packed and there would be people sitting here for hours when they don’t need to be,” Nurse Deborah Thompson told The Mirror.

“It has sped up times in the Accident & Emergency department because the doctors and nurses aren’t seeing the minor cases,” said Thompson. “People who come here with a sore throat or a chest infection thinking that they should attend an emergency department and clearly it’s not appropriate.”

According to the BBC, hospitals in Britain "are teetering on the edge of safety. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine says that after a quieter start to the year, the pressure has intensified this month."

The situation is so bad that ambulances are frequently waiting outside because there is no room for the patients, which means they also can’t go out on additional calls. All of this suggests that something has to change.

At Royal Bournemouth, something did, and the bouncer nurses have already made a huge difference in getting urgent help to the people who need it the most.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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