Patient Emergencies
If you own or manage a clinic, you must be prepared for medical emergencies and your staff duly trained for them. While you cannot possibly prepare for every emergency, you have to be ready for common types like asthma attacks, seizures, anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest, and hypoglycemia. Your physicians and staff must be able to make a quick diagnosis to determine the symptoms, their severity and immediate treatment. While later the patient may be transferred to a hospital or sent home, your initial treatment might prove life-saving.

Get the Basics Down

Your staff has to be trained in one particular aspect of emergencies—speed. Staff must not delay first aid if it's needed. They should also be able to identify vital signs and key symptoms quickly—early identification enables prompt treatment. Simultaneously while assisting the victim, staff must start calling in others who could help.

Important tactic employees should be trained in is de-escalation. This includes being calm and inducing the patient to be calm. Attending staff must talk to relatives to let them sense that things are under control.

To treat emergencies, you want your clinic's emergency medical kit complemented with equipment for common types of emergencies. Besides having emergency medical equipment, you can further improve things with top-notch health management software that eliminates paperwork and automates clinical workflow.

Implement Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software

EMR software digitally stores clinical data related to a patient's treatment under a particular health provider (hospital or clinic). This data includes patient demographics, symptoms and vital signs, progress notes, problems, laboratory reports, prescriptions and past medical history. An EMR system lets your clinic eliminate the tedious paperwork with digitized records—not just your patients' records, but your employees' health records too.

When digitized, employee health records lend themselves to easy management, higher accuracy, and greater accessibility. This is especially important during an emergency situation.

Among other benefits, an EMR system allows your physicians to:
  • • Take electronic notes during patient encounters

  • • Communicate with staff and patients

  • • Sync treatment information with billing systems

  • • (After patient discharge) See and prescribe patients remotely
  • Generate reports on compliance with government EHR incentive programs

It is notable that in U.S. clinics that do not implement a good EMR solution, physicians spend as much as 28 percent of their time on non-clinical paperwork due to poor workflow design, while only 16 percent of physicians have instant access to patient records. Using good EMR software thus improves your physicians' efficiency. This, in turn, helps overall staff efficiency and your clinic's cost-cutting drive.

NextGen EMR software gets you all of these advantages. NextGen offers two software suites under that umbrella: NextGen Office (for small clinics with up to 10 physicians) and NextGen Enterprise (for larger health providers). Because the software uses the cloud to store data—which can be accessed from anywhere, including a mobile handset, physicians and staff can respond to emergencies quickly. Even as they drive into emergency, physicians can send out preliminary instructions to attending staff.

Prepare for Transportation

Your clinic is likely not suited for every major illness. There could thus be emergency patients your clinic cannot admit. Such cases require you to transport the patient to a hospital immediately after diagnosis or first aid.

Ambulances are not the only means of patient transfer. A quicker and cheaper alternative is rideshare such as Uber and Lyft, or perhaps even inviting a bid via Roundtrip Community. To keep things as simple as possible, you want to use EMR software. It permits you to put all necessary resources (accompanying wheelchair, for example) under the same ride-booking workflow as the means of transport when booking a ride.

Remember a couple of things about patient transport. First, it could require transporting the patient into the clinic itself; and secondly, the more the delay in transportation, the more critical the patient's symptoms could be when meeting the doctor. It's better to be prepared ahead of time.

Maintain All Equipment

As with any other office, your clinic has to maintain its equipment. Besides ensuring greater efficiency of your staff, it could save an emergency case from turning worse. Dealing with emergencies is easier said than done. Every case of an emergency involves a human being fighting for life. As a clinic owner or manager, you become responsible for carrying your emergency patient to safety, so make sure your team is prepared at any moment.