The BBMP announced that physical triaging will be compulsory in all Level 2 triaging centres, as tele-triaging "has its own limitations".

Nurses ensuring the preparedness in a COVID-19 ward of a hospitalREPRESENTATIVE IMAGE
news COVID-19 Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 14:39

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has announced that Physical Triaging Centres (PTCs) are now authorised to book beds for COVID-19 patients. A circular by the BBMP dated May 24 detailed the process to be followed by triaging centres while dealing with COVID-19 patients. Physical triaging has been made mandatory at all Level 2 PTCs (attached to COVID-Care Centres or stabilisation centres with oxygen beds), and until it is implemented in all centres, tele-triaging will continue. 

The BBMP has set up over 50 triaging centres across the city, which have been mapped to tertiary care centres. Patients can call the 1912 helpline or the zonal War Room number, following which they will be guided to the nearest PTC facility based on a preliminary round of tele-triaging. However, the circular states that tele-triaging has its own limitations, as bed blocking or hospital admission is done without physically assessing the patient's condition first. 

Process to be followed for physical triaging

First, based on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) charted out by the BBMP, the triage centres will examine COVID-19 patients, based on which the doctors would recommend home isolation or admission to COVID-Care Centres (CCCs) or hospitals. 

The doctors will have to through the BBMP’s Central Hospital Bed Management System (CHBMS) portal, and enter details of the patients’ symptoms, and what kind of care they require in terms of treatment.  If the patient is exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms, then they will be admitted to a nearby CCC or in the triage facility, based on bed availability. If the patient requires hospitalisation, the PTC must transport them to the nearest hospital within two hours. Each PTC will be provided with at least two ambulances, the BBMP said. Based on the patient’s symptoms and the triaging doctor’s recommendations, the PTC must block beds at the hospital or CCC, based on availability. A few tertiary care hospitals have been mapped to the PTCs for this purpose, and after physical triaging is made compulsory across the board, PTCs will be able to book beds in any hospital through the CHBMS. 

The BBMP has also appointed data entry operators who will be present at the PTCs, who will handle patients’ data and update the same on the CHBMS. Moreover, there are sub-teams appointed to allot beds through the system at the zonal level. 

If a suspected COVID-19 patient walks into a PTC with symptoms but has not undergone a test, the BBMP has instructed that Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) be conducted on them.