MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — A new program in Maryland looking to shorten emergency room wait times for ambulance patients is showing promise, according to a report.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue started the “Direct to Triage” program on February 1, WTOP-TV reports. The program identifies patients stable enough to wait their turn in the emergency department lobby, freeing up the ambulance to leave to be ready to take other calls.
“We have ambulances, especially Priority 3 patients, who are sitting for 30, 60, 70, 80 minutes waiting for a bed,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Capt. Ben Kaufman.
An average of 10 patients a day have been sent to the waiting room without the ambulance having to wait for an open bed in the emergency department.
Said Kaufman: “We’re just going to keep rolling with it and we think we’re going to have some decent success if we look at this on a bigger picture.”