Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drinking the RME Kool-Aid at ENA’s annual conference

Just got back from the Emergency Nurses Association’s annual conference in Minneapolis. Overall a pretty good conference if you avoided the Keynote addresses. A disappointment was the numerous presentations and posters touting the wonders of the process being pushed by several ED groups and Hospital bean counters called RME. Rapid Medical (Mediocre) Evaluation which also goes by several other names such as Triage Bypass, Provider is Triage, Door to Doc, among others depending on which ED Physician group is pushing it. All are basically the same thing. While pieces of the process can streamline care (immediate bedding, bedside registration) here are the claims that are made by the RME’ers that any thinking Nurse should question.
If we adopt RME we will be able to pay for more Nurses with the all the money we Save. Right!!!!! Well, that’s not my experience. I work in one of these facilities and staffing has stayed the same and the moment there is a lull the manager is trying to send staff home because the census is low. So, reduce your standards to move people through, stack them in chairs to utilize more space, pressure the Doc's to do a substandard exam, and as soon as you discharge them go home your not needed. Now that’s efficiency. Remember, work smarter not harder. I have an idea. How about not counting patients who dont get a Nurse in the Nursing hours of care. Most patients are alotted around 2 hours of care credit for budgeting. What if they never get a Nurse. No, that would be way to honest.

Patient should not have to tell their story more than once. Don’t trouble the patient with having to repeat their story more than once. This is team Triage and we get all the facts on the first try because the Story Never Changes!!!!! More Kool-Aid please. What do you call the Nurse in Team Triage? Scribe

You don’t need to have a Primary Nurse assessment. What the heck for. They don’t do that down at the Wall Mart Clinic, why should the ED. And what a wonderful way of dodging the Nursing ratios in California.

Patients do not need to get undressed. What the heck for. You never find anything when you examine the skin, back, or any other covered part. What a waste of time. Yum, Good Kool-Aid. I cant wait for our next round of survey results. Can you say Bump!!

Nurses are more satisfied. Which ones? The ones who view Nursing as a series of tasks rather than a process and don’t assess their patients or understand a Nurse Patient relationship probably will. You know them, the ones who make up discharge vital signs and always have their chart complete even though you never heard any of those questions asked. Yep, that’s them. There are certainly plenty of them around. Managers will also like it. Nothing makes them tingle like good numbers.

Patients can be quickly categorized with minimal or no triage. Put on your Blinders and only focus on the complaint they tell you. It keeps the problem simple. Patients always articulate an accurate complaint and totally understand their symptoms. Easy Peasy. You have an ear ache – Done, Your back hurts – take these, Done. Our Door to Provider times are awesome. Wow, why didn’t we think of this model 20 years ago.

Patients are more satisfied. Some probably will be. Most don’t recognize crappy care as long as its delivered with a smile and done quick. The Customer is always right.
So there you have it. Our professional organization (ENA) pumping up a process that shortchanges patient assessment and treatment from both Nurses and Physicians and cuts out important parts of the Nurses role to make the numbers look good. Brilliant recruiting strategy. I am so thrilled I think I will join for life right after I finish this Kool-Aid.


JustCallMeJo said...

That's just stunning.

Evil suits are everywhere.

Anonymous said...

The hospital where I work subscribes to the same bu**$**t. Only take it one step further - we have a CNA! I repeat a CNA doing the rapid triage (if that is what you want to call it) to decide if a patient goes to RME or ED!! Talk about a recepie for disaster. Does no one care or see the danger in this - too many bad calls and someone will end up dead!!!!!!! This really upseats me, I hate to see the "greeter" put in that sort of position - he/she does not have the education!! Why bother going to nursing school - I can play triage nurse out in the waiting room!!!

ednight nurse said...

oh yeah we have this in our ed also. i am so upset about pt care that i am wondering if i still want to be an ed nurse.

boztc said...

One again, the cheapest, fastest and best advertised medical care wins. And... when you point out serious flaws in the triage process (like trauma designations), you are identified as a "toxic individual" who is "not a team player". When will we all wake up and work together for single payer insurance so we can force these thieves out of health care?