Triage Spaces

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Problem Definition: The triage space is not functionally designed to efficiently meet the needs of acuity adaptability, patient volume, clinician responsibility, and maintain regulatory requirements.

Further description of individual problems in the triage space:

Acuity Adaptability: The triage space needs to be used for all levels of acuity. It must be equipped for higher acuity levels but still be functional for basic problems.

Patient Volume: The flow of patients in an ED is not always constant and varies from little flow to over capacity. The triage room must be able to allow quick and accurate assessing of patients in high volumes.

Clinician Responsibility: The space must be designed so the clinician can successfully meet all job requirements. For example, in smaller ED's the triage nurse might be in charge of the waiting room and need to always have sight of the waiting area.

Maintain Regulatory Requirements: The triage space needs to meet HIPAA and EMTALA requirements.

Some things to consider:

• The size of the ED—small or large

• The scope of HIPAA--How strict are the requirements in regards to noise and other areas?

• What materials are needed in the triage center?

• Is the family with the patient during triage?

• Can you prescribe drugs from the triage room if you have a doctor triaging?

• Volume-how fast they come, surge volume

• Skill level of "triager", different amounts of time and false positives

• Adaptability of layout

• Triage Space/ Total ED Space


• Cost to Square Feet—what is needed in the space is it better to have a smaller space with more technology or larger with different equipment?

• Time needed for different acuity levels

• How much materials are used in the triage space?

• Comparing procedure adaptability

• How much space is needed?

• Time to wait for triage—Greet to triage time

• Triage to room time

• Triage to decision time

• Percent of time a room is used

End Goal

Full scale mock up of a triage multi-functional space TRIAR


Research & Related Articles

Discussions in the Class and Suggestions

  • Will curtains suffice for short triage? Need to look more than HIPAA. The psychological effect on patients and their comfortability?
  • Communications Systems - How does triage communicate with Registration and with ER?
  • Triage Space for Kids and Family- How will we accomodate family and kids?
  • Triage Roles - What do triage nurses need to do to be able to do other than triaging? Like:
              * Observe patients in Waiting room
              * Treat patients in ER
              * Register patients
  • How will we manage triaging during diaster?
  • Labs/Meds
     * Does the triage space need to be able to communicate with Labs, imaging and order medication?
     * What equipment or devices are necessary?

Group Pictures

Sketches & Designs