Urgencies and Chronotherapy
31 Aug 2017 by Nev Haynes
Most health workers who work on the most active and stressful front of a hospital, the Emergency Room, complain about what might be called “false urgencies.” A large number of patients choose that public hospital that is best suited to them, not due to geographic proximity, but because they think that have a low level of saturation, taking advantage of even lower hours to be attended without delay. Others go to the Emergency Service decorating or exaggerating their illness with false symptoms so that their case is treated with priority and not have to wait for a consultation.
The cost of performing an examination, a blood test, an X-ray, an ultrasound scan, or an MRI is not something that should be taken lightly. The health professional, who in the present case is the doctor, aware that this type of patients monopolize expensive and limited resources, since they have to reach the entire population, may choose to try to educate them (health education), explaining that The symptoms they present are not reason enough to go immediately to a hospital (they are not an “urgency”, properly speaking), or to perform what could be called ironically as chronotherapy (to assess first the urgent consultations and to leave for later the consultations that do not present so much urgency without taking into account the order of arrival of the patient).
In the emergency triage area, where a patient is received in a hospital, his case is examined and he is usually assigned a color code that will determine the maximum time of attention depending on the urgency of his illness: green, yellow, orange and red. A patient assigned a red code requires immediate attention, so that the hospital’s available resources are put at his service. These times are crucial to attend the patient in the most appropriate way and to allocate those, let’s not forget limited, resources in the most efficient way.
A patient assigned a red code requires immediate attention, so that the hospital’s available resources are put at his service
That said, chronotherapy could be defined as “the time that a patient can stay in the ER waiting room to be treated based on the severity of their medical condition. Occasionally, patients with “non-urgent issues” who wait for immediate attention voluntarily discharge, which confirms that their condition was not worthy of immediate hospital care.
patients with “non-urgent issues” who wait for immediate attention voluntarily discharge
It is the work and responsibility of the health personnel to use with wisdom and zeal the resources offered by a hospital (public or private), educating about the symptoms and the attitude that the patient should take in certain cases. Also, support with information and self-diagnosis tools and monitoring so that patients do not abuse indiscriminately of available health resources.
Let’s not forget that emergency doctors are working to deal with urgent cases. Some time we could enter ourselves with a red code and we would like to know that we are going to attend immediately and without sparing resources. So, if we ever tend to behave like hypochondriacs or we are in a hurry to receive treatment, there is nothing like a little chronotherapy well managed by a doctor to regain health.