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New SOP: Patients must be transferred to triage area within 15 minutes, get doctors attention in an hour

New Delhi: The Health and Family Welfare Department of the Delhi Government issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to COVID Hospitals, for the handling of COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in the Capital.

"The patient shall be brought by hospital staff from the ambulance or whichever vehicle used by the patient, to the triage area without asking for details and this process is expected to be completed in 15 minutes," the guidelines explained. The next step for the staff is to provide a sitting arrangement or bed, depending on the patient's status, and a doctor has to attend to the patient within 60 minutes depending on the urgency of the requirement of treatment, the order stated.

The set of guidelines mentioned that the doctor on triage duty should consult a specialist, if required, and decide if the patient requires admission in the hospital or Home Quarantine or mortuary or refer the patient to COVID Care Centre (CCC) or another hospital. One of the mentioned actions need to be taken within three hours after the arrival of the patient.

The order also stated that "the patient must be admitted into the specific ward as per the requirement of treatment. In case of unavailability of bed in that specific ward, it is the responsibility of the hospital to transfer the patient to another hospital" and till the time the transfer does not take place medical facilities shall be provided by the hospital.

"If the patient does not require further treatment and falls under the category of mild-moderate symptom patient where Home Quarantine is allowed but does not have enough space at their home, he or she will be transferred to a CCC by the hospital after basic counselling," the SOP clarified. The order also mentioned that if the patient has space at home then he or she can be discharged after counselling.

"In case the patient dies at the Hospital in the triage area or is brought dead, the patient would be shifted to the mortuary after disinfection by the hospital," the SOP stated.

During the stay at the hospital or the triage area, if the patient feels he is not being treated as per protocol or admission is being denied or delayed without reasonable explanation then he can approach the hospital helpline number, the notice added. The hospital has to set aside a helpline number with a 24x7 manning by a staff. The patient can be discharged after he or she tests negative as per the norm.

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