The quality of assessment undertaken by the receptionist, who may be a relatively junior member of staff, is crucial to deliver safe and effective urgent care. The challenge is to correctly identify, and rapidly respond to, the tiny number of patients in whom a delay will result in harm, or possibly even death. Have you identified and discussed these emergency situations? Have you a simple procedure for receptionists to follow when these rare situations arise? To rely on the common sense of receptionists to identify rare situations, and hope they respond appropriately, may pose an unacceptable risk to patients, staff and clinicians. Clinically urgent cases are rare, so learning through experience is fraught with danger for all.
YOUR PRACTICE MUST:
- Identify emergency situations
- Rapidly triage these patients
- Ensure the patient is seen urgently.