Babak Choobi Anzali


1 Evaluation of Triage Performance: Nurse Practice and Problem Classifications

Authors: Maryam Bahreini, Fatemeh Rasooli, Atefeh Abdollahi, Babak Choobi Anzali


Introduction: Triage becomes the main part of organization of care in Emergency department (ED)s. It is used to describe the sorting of patients for treatment priority in ED. The accurate triage of injured patients has reduced fatalities and improved resource usage. Besides, the nurses’ knowledge and skill are important factors in triage decision-making. The ability to define an appropriate triage level and their need for intervention is crucial to guide to a safe and effective emergency care. Methods: This is a prospective cross-sectional study designed for emergency nurses working in four public university hospitals. Five triage workshops have been conducted every three months for emergency nurses based on a standard triage Emergency Severity Index (ESI) IV slide set - approved by Iranian Ministry of Health. Most influential items on triage performance were discussed through brainstorming in workshops which then, were peer reviewed by five emergency physicians and two head registered nurses expert panel. These factors that might distract nurse’ attention from proper decisions included patients’ past medical diseases, the natural tricks of triage and system failure. After permission had been taken, emergency nurses participated in the study and were given the structured questionnaire. Data were analysed by SPSS 21.0. Results: 92 emergency nurses enrolled in the study. 30 % of nurses reported the past history of chronic disease as the most influential confounding factor to ascertain triage level, other important factors were the history of prior admission, past history of myocardial infarction and heart failure to be 20, 17 and 11 %, respectively. Regarding the concept of difficulties in triage practice, 54.3 % reported that the discussion with patients and family members was difficult and 8.7 % declared that it is hard to stay in a single triage room whole day. Among the participants, 45.7 and 26.1 % evaluated the triage workshops as moderately and highly effective, respectively. 56.5 % reported overcrowding as the most important system-based difficulty. Nurses were mainly doubtful to differentiate between the triage levels 2 and 3 according to the ESI VI system. No significant correlation was found between the work record of nurses in triage and the uncertainty in determining the triage level and difficulties. Conclusion: The work record of nurses hardly seemed to be effective on the triage problems and issues. To correct the deficits, training workshops should be carried out, followed by continuous refresher training and supportive supervision.

Keywords: Education, Assessment, nurse, triage

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