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10.10 Case Study 8 Ebenezer John

Being a Clinical Lead Radiographer & Clinical Triage Team Manager

Triage is a term derived from the French verb trier;

“Trier: to separate, sift, screen or select.”

Triage is used as a clinical process in the delivery of modern healthcare where resources and expertise are constantly stretched and demand for services is universally high. Triage functions are thus deemed necessary to promote efficiency and accuracy at a pivotal stage in a patient’s diagnostic pathway.

I joined InHealth in 2008 to work as a Senior Triage Radiographer. It was a unique active role in which I benefitted from hands-on training from expert radiographers in this field. 

The sheer thrill of dealing with such a large volume of referrals encompassing six major diagnostic modalities and at the same time charged with providing expert advice and guidance to various sources (including GP’s, patients, clinical and non-clinical staff and so on) gave me the opportunity to learn and develop valuable clinical leadership skills whilst broadening my knowledge in the area of MRI safety and clinical justification.

I am engaged in leading a team of skilled, highly experienced and multi- modality radiographers delivering triage services at InHealth Group.

InHealth Group provide extensive diagnostic services including MRI, Ultrasound, X-ray, Dexa, Endoscopy and Physiological Measurement services in both community and Secondary care environments within UK.

As a diagnostic service provider it promotes its diagnostic service management via the clinical triage department which pre-screens referrals received for various diagnostic modalities. This is achieved utilizing clinical protocols that help the radiographer determine the severity of the patient's health issues and rank them according to urgency. Radiographers working within the triage environment adhere to RCR/iRefer and NICE guidelines during the referral vetting process. These guidelines are fully embedded into our local pathway and procedures to ensure the priority conditions of patient safety, clinical justification and clinical appropriateness are fully met before any patient receives an appointment for a diagnostic examination.

During this process triage Radiographers liaise directly with GP’s and patients to obtain missing clinical information and other facts to ensure patient safety, for example, (i) MRI safety questions relating to possible implants, (ii) mobility issues and (iii) guidance on claustrophobia amongst other things.

Clinical Triage members are also required to protocol each request and provide guidance to other departments including non clinical call centre agents, Clinical staff on the unit, PACS team and liaise directly with referring clinicians to provide expert advice on the correct or alternative modality as well as managing the report related complaint and query process.

In the current climate of extreme financial pressure on CCG’s, the introduction of such a step in policing the diagnostic industry ensures quality of service is both maintained and delivered to high standards without compromising patient care. And the current AQP process recommends such a triage process for diagnostic service closer to home as  It ensures appropriate investigations are done each time resulting in direct cost savings to CCG’s and effective service delivery to both patients and clinicians on a large scale.

Ebenezer John
Clinical Triage Manager
InHealth Group

 

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