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Triage Capacity and Processes

Triage Hospital preparedness and response has matured in the past decade driven by the events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent events that have required attention to surge capacity and hospital incident management. An important component of any emergency response is the capability of a community to rapidly expand the capacity of the existing healthcare system in order to provide medical screening and subsequent medical care.

Current level of preparedness

The BHEPP leadership supports and demonstrates a formalized process for an integrated triage strategy and surge capacity plan that ensures appropriate distribution of patients amongst the partners during an incident with re-distribution of staff and supplies to support the increased patient population. This is demonstrated by NNMC and Suburban Hospital training and development triage teams to include decontamination & behavioral assessment as well as NIH Clinical Center admission triage of transferred patients from Suburban Hospital and NNMC.

Desired level of preparedness

Development of a research institute for in-house and external researchers focused on "cutting edge" disaster response, that foster sustainability of the partnership. Current projects reflecting triage capacity and processes include:

  • Unified Triage Forms
  • Digital Pen
  • Lost Patient Finder

The need for rapid and effective disaster training of healthcare staff at all levels is now widely recognized and mandated by The Joint Commission (TJC). Suburban Hospital as a Level 2 Regional Trauma Center continues to expand disaster research to facilitate evidence-based education & training programs for clinical staff. New training programs include Rapid Triage as well as Behavioral Assessment.