NEW YORK, NY – Is your hospital filled to the gills? With patients sicker than ever, are discharges few and far between? Things may change, thanks to the work of a team of pediatricians at Kid & Play Medical Center (KPMC). Say hello to the Medical Musical Chairs (MMC) discharge protocol.
“You remember Musical Chairs, right?” asked pediatrician and lead protocol designer Chrissie Reid. “Say you have 30 patients on a unit. Bring out 30 patients but 29 chairs. Play some music and the patients walk, limp around the chairs. When the music stops, patients race to sit in a chair. Whoever is left without a chair is discharged. You keep going, one less chair than patients with each go around. Fairly simple and loads of fun!”
The protocol is easy to use, though there were a few glitches early on related to non-ambulatory patients. “Those patients couldn’t move around the circle of chairs,” explained Reid. “But we fixed that; they’re automatically disqualified and discharged.”
In standard Musical Chairs, the last player left is declared the winner. Here, Reid introduced a new twist to the rules.
“It’s no fun if the patient wins,” explained Reid, stating the obvious. “That why you play one final round with one patient left and no chairs. The patient loses the round and ultimately who is the winner overall? Health care practitioners and the hospital.”
“I love, love, love Medical Musical Chairs!” commented charge nurse Christian Martin, who believes this is the most important contribution to modern medicine since penicillin. “Sometimes we’ll have two or three less chairs than patients, you know, to keep things moving.”
Reid recommends initiating the discharge protocol “as often as needed.” At KPMC, health care practitioners initiate Medical Musical Chairs ten to fifteen times daily to achieve their goal of zero patients in house by 5 PM.
According to sources both close to and far from GomerBlog, emergency medicine personnel are working on a modified game of Duck, Duck, Goose to selectively discharge patients from the emergency room (ER). No timetable yet on when this will be implemented.