Inefficient emergency departments


Sir, – Recently I had the unhappy experience of attending a HSE emergency department, as a patient. I waited one hour to be assessed by a triage nurse, another two hours to have an ECG performed by another staff member and another two hours for a blood test to be done by another staff person. Then there was a a 2½-hour wait to be seen by a doctor.

Why could a highly trained triage nurse not attach an ECG machine and draw blood during his or her assessment and thereby expedite the journey for the patient and reduce the number of weary patients who waited silently on hard chairs in a dreary waiting area?

It appears that multi-tasking is an unknown concept in hospital settings nowadays and specialization of roles has produced a fragmented, time-consuming system.

From my observations, the problems in emergency departments are not due to lack of staff or finances but more to do with inefficient organisation and super-specialisation of staff.

Such a structure of role boundaries is not of any benefit to patients but maybe, in the wise words of Patrick Kavanagh, “Gods make their own importance”. – Yours, etc,




Co Roscommon.