Triage Definition How It Works Examples in Business

Triage Definition How It Works Examples in Business

Triage: Definition, How It Works, Examples in Business

What Is Triage?

Triage is a form of process management that prioritizes incoming workflow so that the most critical work is attended to first. It is commonly used in emergency rooms to assess the priority of patient care. Companies also use triage to expedite workflows for projects with tight deadlines. However, it is not without risks.

Key Takeaways:

– Triage is a management protocol that prioritizes incoming workflow so that the most critical work is attended to first.

– It is commonly used in hospitals and other healthcare settings, becoming particularly important in response to disasters or emergencies.

– Triage also has applications in non-healthcare businesses, helping to prioritize projects, updates, publications, and other corporate needs.

– Triage enables companies to quickly address emergencies, but it also poses risks as it may involve eliminating time-consuming steps in the workflow.

Understanding Triage

Triage is the practice of dividing incoming work or customers by priority so that the highest priorities are handled first. It is crucial in emergency medical situations, such as those on the battlefield or following catastrophic accidents. Medical personnel use triage procedures to ensure that patients with the most serious conditions receive immediate attention.

Triage Examples in Business

Process management is vital in project management, especially when multiple products are released simultaneously. For example, software development teams now use Agile sprints to continuously improve and release software upgrades to customers on rapid timelines. Within the same software company, important glitches are prioritized using triage to save the business. The engineers prioritize the most critical issues from a list of problems.

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Most triage process management situations arise from customer demands, patient needs, or external deadline pressures. Book publishers, for instance, adhere to a set editorial and production schedule for releasing new titles. For urgent projects, publishers have a specialized editorial and marketing triage team to fast track them. This is often done with politically significant books or celebrity biographies when the publisher wants to be the first to market.

Triage is most effective when used as-needed in response to emergencies or time-sensitive problems, rather than as the day-to-day protocol for running a hospital or business.

When Triage Becomes the Norm

There is a risk when triage processes become the norm for medical and business management teams. Once a team proves they can fast track a project, there may be a temptation to handle all projects this way. However, this often leads to a decline in quality and service. Triage, by definition, eliminates some time-consuming steps in the best practices processes. For instance, a software development team might allocate fewer quality control hours for a new product release.

When everything becomes a rush project, staff may become overburdened and demoralized, resulting in mistakes that a normal process would catch. Effective process management starts at the top and requires sensitivity in determining which projects truly need to be fast-tracked and which can follow normal processes. If more projects require fast-tracking, additional labor is typically needed, so there is a cost for every management decision regarding the need for triage.

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