Effectiveness of senior doctor triage in enhancing emergency room performance

Added June 2, 2020

Citation: Abdulwahid MA, Booth A, Kuczawski M, Mason SM. The impact of senior doctor assessment at triage on emergency department performance measures: systematic review and meta-analysis of comparative studies. Emergency Medicine Journal. 2016 Jul 1;33(7):504-13.

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What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare workers. Placing a senior doctor at triage in emergency departments, compared with single-nurse triage, can be an effective way to enhance a range of performance measures.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for comparative studies on the role of senior doctor triage in emergency departments. They restricted their searches to articles published in English language, and did the search between 1994 and 2014. They included 25 studies, 16 were before and after studies, 2 clinical controlled trials, 3 cohort studies, and 4 randomised controlled trials. 12 studies were conducted in the US, 5 in Australia, 2 in Canada and the UK, and 1 in Hong Kong, Jamaica, Singapore, and Sweden.

What works: Senior doctor triage reduced waiting times, decreased length of stay, and decreased the proportion of patients leaving without being seen or before treatment completion.

What doesn’t work: No clear benefit of senior doctor triage in terms of patient satisfaction or cost effectiveness was identified.

What’s uncertain: Cost effectiveness of this triage model is uncertain.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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