Following up on America’s invention of drive-thru restaurants, beer stores, and wedding halls, the Stanford Hospital & Clinics are trying out the viability of a drive-thru emergency room. Although not equipped to handle acute cases, the scheme may prove useful in triage situations. Moreover, it would seem that the tactic should be effective to prevent the mixing of people visiting the ER during an infectious disease pandemic.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
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.
From there, patients drove another 10 to 15 feet for a medical screening exam, where doctors reviewed the symptoms and made a diagnosis. Finally, they were discharged or admitted to the hospital.