The triage process is an important aspect in a mass casualty event. In most cases, a simple pre-triage is carried out by emergency workers at the incident area. This already provides an initial overview of the situation.
How can the triage process be optimized? What steps should be taken?
First and foremost, to make the triage process more efficient, information should be recorded centrally to make it accessible and transferable to the next entities in the chain. This can be done by providing emergency response workers with an APP that contains a mass casualty management software. Each user will then have access to the information registered by him or herself and another user. For example, hospitals will have access to the triage information registered by the emergency response workers. It is also necessary to give them the ability to enrich and/or view the medical as well as the personal information. This way you can provide the best possible support.
When creating the app, try to make it simple and user-friendly so it will require no training to get started with it. The more complex the app is for the user, the more likely things will go wrong. When using the app offline the information should be stored on the device until connection is made again.
Besides the app, the emergency response workers should also be provided with bracelets with a pre-printed QR code. Make sure that the QR code is easy to scan and will generate a unique number for every unique identifier. The next time you scan the same bracelet, you can access the previous information already registered on that QR code. It can also be interesting to add some additional stickers with the same QR code to connect to the luggage or other crucial parts.
Not only is it important to provide a tool for registering triage but a good overview of the situation is also crucial. To do so, you need to create a dashboard that will give an overview of the status and position of the victims. This overview needs to be accessible to the receptions centres, call centres and connected to hospitals.
With the obtained data, reception centres and call centres can instantly inform relatives, and people can be reunited faster. This also reduces the amount of stress and psychological distress it can cause. But not to be forgotten is the GDPR and the ability to block names of, for example, deceased or public figures. So the reception centres and call centres do not have access to all information but only the information that is necessary.
By connecting hospitals, they become a part of the chain and let them view or be automatically informed when a victim leaves the advanced medical post. This gives them time to prepared for the numbers, type and the severity of the injuries. It will then also be immediately clear how much capacity hospitals still have and relatives will know in which hospital to look for their loved ones.
The software in the app should be available on different platforms fitted for the situation. Sometimes the situation will require a small device to quickly register the affected persons and sometimes a large screen is needed to get a clear overview.
Emergency response workers will need a smartphone or tablet in the incident area and advanced medical post to register the affected persons and give them a triage code. A small device gives them the flexibility to move quickly around.
The command post and hospitals, on the other hand, will need a desktop in order to function properly. They should be able to focus on the situation by analysing all information centralised in a clear overview.
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