Ask ECRI: Who Can Triage Walk-In Patients and Telephone Calls?

January 18, 2017 | Ambulatory Care Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A risk manager and medical director recently contacted ECRI Institute seeking guidance on establishing policies regarding triage for walk-in patients and for patients who telephone. Specifically, the member asks, must the individual performing triage be a registered nurse (RN), or can medical assistants (MAs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform this function?

As a starting point, ECRI Institute recommends that organizations refer to the sample tool Telephone Triage—Emergency Situations, the essential points from which are also applicable to walk-ins. The policy should include the organization's definition of the most appropriate individual to consult after the...

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