Just come back from Manchester from the SAMBA Academy. Hectic week – two on-calls and two trips up North in a single week. And just in case you were wondering … SAMBA is all about timing and pace and stands for the ‘Society for Acute Medicine’s Benchmarking Audit’: Once a year we join forces across the UK to collect data from Acute Medical Units during a 24 hour period: When do patients arrive at the hospital, when do they get their first safety check by taking vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and speed of breathing, when does the first doctor assess their condition and when do they see a Consultant.
Surprisingly only very few hospitals in the UK will already hold this type of data on electronic records. So for the annual audit we rely on going through the notes and charting patient journeys. An in-exact science given that health care records are often done with some delay after the dust of emergencies has settled.
What if ….
Given that most patients would probably like to know whether they are ill or not would it be conceivable that they would be willing to help us with a ‘check-in’ procedure?
Let’s imagine that the receptionist of the admission unit in the hospital would give out a little leaflet: “Here Mr Subbe is what we would hope to achieve for you in the next four hours. We are doing all we can to keep you safe, but just in case you want to make sure (and remind us if we are missing something) here is some information: A nurse will come and take your vital signs within the first 30 minutes. Once the vital signs have been taken you can tick here on tap on your tablet computer! If the vital signs are abnormal the nurse will call a doctor urgently, the doctor should attend within 30 minutes. You can tick here. If your vital signs are ok and the department is really really busy it might take up to four hours to see a doctor, please mark this here! Is that ok Mr Subbe? Is there anything else I can do for you at the moment?”