snip: "...hospitals are opening drive-thrus and drive-up tent clinics to screen and treat a swelling tide of swine flu patients... The idea behind these efforts is to keep coughing, feverish people out of regular emergency rooms, where they can infect heart attack victims and other very sick patients. The need has soared in recent weeks as flu has spread among schoolchildren before vaccine is available."Fantastic innovation, though the image of this is absolutely cracking me up.
"It works like this: A nurse near the ER stops cars and sends appropriate cases to the drive-thru. Signs tell families to tune the radio to a public broadcasting station that describes what happens next.
"The patient's automobile acts as a self-contained isolation compartment, a moving exam room," Weiss said. "The hoods of the cars make excellent places to write notes," and medical records are slid under the windshield wipers.I have visions of an old 50's style drive-in diner.... nurses on rollerblades, wearing scrubs and masks. Only instead of cheeseburgers and milkshakes they leave a phlebotomy tray on your window. It really is a brilliant idea. Sick, fevered kids don't even have to leave the comfort and security of their carseats. You don't even have to wake them up after they fall asleep on the way. You can sit and listen to the radio while you wait, or watch a portable DVD player. And most importantly, not worry about catching something even *worse* than what you came into the E.R. for to begin with.
Through the car window, a doctor uses a device that clips on a finger to measure blood pressure, pulse and breathing rates. Fingerstick blood tests can be done. In nearby tents, diabetics can get a urine test for blood sugar, and heart patients can get an EKG. Portable X-rays are available, too. The last stop has a pharmacy to get vaccine, medicines or a prescription to fill."