Use of multi-disciplinary team for effective triage of nonurgent patients from the emergency department

P. Caralis, R. Musialowski, R. Betancourt, M. Bolero, B. Eiser, R. Rodriguez, F. Tan, R. Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Overcrowding in ERs is significant.Use of ERs by pts for primary care leads to prolonged pt Waits & delays in treating seriously ill pts.A multidisciplinary triage team (DR,RN,Clerk) was developed to assess, Rx minor complaints & divert pts to appropriate Outpt clinics.On Pt.entry to ED, the team registered.initiate of DX procedures & limited physical exam & Rx.Team determined priority needs & assigned pts to appropriate Rx areajncluding Appointments to clinics & Specialty services. In 3 mo 1089 pts were screened,49% were non-emergent & care was arranged at other levels of the health care delivery system :47%-Drop-in clinic, 23%-General Medicine dinics & 30%-specialty clinics.Assessment of team triage system was made comparing 3 mo period prior to & after implementation. # of pts.treated in ED for urgent care prior avg 269 pts/day;post Team the # of true emergent care pts fell to 169.Time from pt sign-in to screen went from 17 min to 5 min; Triage system reduced % pts who waited 30 min to be evaluated from 58% to 42%. Follow-up of pts triaged away from ER was reviewed referrals were considered appropriate by clinic Drs; 80% of cases was consistent with triage assessment.90% of pts' were satisfied with new triage system & felt they received RX within a reasonable time.Conclusion: Pts. can be selectively triaged out of ER without significant adverse outcomes & resulting in more effective use of ED resources & personnel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309a
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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