Friday, August 17, 2007

Chatting up the ER...

Ok, another call out to the ER docs. A previous post has me wondering how useful my calls to the ER are when transferring patients. I'd love to hear some opinions.

What are you guys looking for when I send someone in from the office? I know you're busy, and I try to keep it concise. Do you just want "55 year old male for chest pain workup", or is more detail helpful?

C'mon, help me help you.


PalMD said...
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PalMD said...

oops...our er is so big that it's hard to talk to any of the docs, since you don't know who might see the pt. I send a note, and call the triage nurse, and beg everyone to page me with any questions.

Laurie Anderson, RNP said...

I appreciate a call ahead, especially if you have already done an assessment on someone you know. Insight from the PCP "mild dementia," or "not a complainer and will try to stay out of the hospital because he hates it, but should be admitted because wife undergoing chemo and can't manage right now," really puts the situation in perspective for me. Another really helpful item is when the individual comes with a current med list and if you're using an EMR, the printout from the visit that made you decide to send them in to the ED. Makes life much easier in a busy ED. Thanks for asking.

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

Can I give a completely different opinion on this?

I have no role in medical treatment yet, but I am often the first person that the patient will come into contact with when they are going to the ER (if they are not coming in by ambulance). As such, I really appreciate when the doc sends a quick note with the patient.

The note, often only a couple of sentences, helps me to be a better patient advocate because I can tune into the psychosocial needs of the patient and his or her family, and I can also tell which patients are seriously ill and need me to personally escort them to the ER and verify that they get traiged pronto (some of the sickest patients I've seen in the last couple of weeks have actually looked quite good, so I might not have guessed that they were in need of extra support. Also, the patient's description of illness can make it sound like no big deal when it is in fact something very worrisome --- I'm sure you know what I'm talking about).

I can also be forewarned if it is believed that the patient has something contageous and dangerous (that way I'll get a mask for the patient and wheel them in the back rather than taking them all the way through the hospital where other potentially immunocompromised patients might come into contact with them).

A call may be great for the ER doc, but a quick note is really appreciated as well!