Drive Through Health Care Experiment at Stanford – Keep Patients in Their Cars As Long As you Can
Posted Aug 12 2009 10:31pm
This was an experiment tried out at Stanford with volunteers to see if it had any value to keep patients in their cars before either being sent on their way or admitted through the ER, the idea was to keep the patients and their germs aside from potentially infecting others with a focus on Swine Flu. We have had drive through flu shots here in southern California and I have seen them in other parts of the US too, but this experiment seemed to try and see if the process could move a bit further up the ladder. BD
The cars, minivans and sport-utility vehicles began lining up and slowly moving forward, just as they would at a busy fast food drive-thru. But there weren't any burgers or fries on the menu. Instead, drivers and passengers were examined by a team of Stanford doctors and nurses, all without getting out of their cars.
In what is believed to be the first training exercise in the country, a team of health care professionals at Stanford Hospital & Clinics turned the first floor of a parking garage into a drive-through emergency room Friday morning in hopes of creating a more efficient way to treat a large number of patients during an influenza pandemic or other emergency.
Dr. Eric Weiss, medical director for disaster planning at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, believes the drive-through triage can serve as a blueprint for hospitals nationwide and across the globe.
The drive-thru idea came to him while resting in bed. He thought "everyone has cars, why not keep them in cars," which would, keep people from infecting others. Weiss said, "We thought this would be a great way to use the automobile as a self-contained contamination.
The volunteer patients made their way through the drive-thru triage as though they were being seen at the emergency room. As cars entered the parking garage, patients registered and were given paperwork. They then drove through one of two lines and stopped at the first station, triage, where nurses and emergency department technicians checked for vital signs — temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration — and gathered the patients' medical backgrounds. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff wore gowns and gloves throughout the exercise.