To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Triage is fundamental to emergency patient assessment. Effective triage systems accurately prioritize patients and help predict resource utilization. CTAS is a validated five-level triage score utilized in Emergency Departments (EDs) across Canada and internationally. Historically CTAS has been applied by triage nurses in EDs. Observational evidence suggests that the CTAS might be implemented reliably by paramedics in the prehospital setting. This is the first system-wide assessment of CTAS interrater reliability between paramedics and triage nurses during clinical practice.
Variables were extracted from hospital and EMS databases. EMS providers determined CTAS on-scene, CTAS pre-transport, and CTAS on-arrival at hospital for each patient (N=14,378). The hospital arrival EMS CTAS (CTASarrival) score was compared to the initial nursing CTAS score (CTASinitial) and the final nursing CTAS score (CTASfinal) incuding nursing overrides. Interrater reliability between ED CTASinitial and EMS CTASarrival scores was assessed. Interrater reliability between ED CTASfinal and EMS CTASarrival scores, as well as proportion of patient encounters with perfect or near-perfect agreement, were evaluated.
Our primary outcome, interrater reliability [kappa=0.437 (p<0.001, 95% CI 0.421-0.452)], indicated moderate agreement. EMS CTASarrival and ED CTASinitial scores had an exact or within one point match 84.3% of the time. The secondary interrater reliability outcome between hospital arrival EMS CTAS (CTASarrival) score and the final ED triage CTAS score (CTASfinal) showed moderate agreement with kappa =0.452 (p<0.001, 95% CI 0.437-0.466).
Interrater reliability of CTAS scoring between triage nurses and paramedics was moderate in this system-wide implementation study.
Within the emergency department (ED) patient population there is a subset of patients who make frequent visits. This chart review sought to characterize this population and identify strategies to reduce frequent ED visits.
Frequent use at an urban tertiary care centre was defined as 15 or more visits over 1 year. The details of each visit—demographics, entrance complaint, discharge diagnosis, arrival method, Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) score, and length of stay—were analyzed and compared to data from the entire ED population for the same period.
Ninety-two patients generated 2,390 ED visits (of 25,523 patients and 44,204 visits). This population was predominantly male (66%) and middle-aged (median 42 years), with no fixed address (27.2%). Patients arrived by ambulance in 59.3% of visits with less acute CTAS scores than the general population. Substance use accounted for 26.9% of entrance complaints. Increased lengths of stay were associated with female gender and abnormal vital signs, whereas shorter stays were associated with no fixed address and substance use (p < 0.05). Admissions were lower than the general population, and women were twice as likely as men to be admitted (p < 0.05). Patients left without being seen in 15.8% of visits.
High-frequency ED users are more likely to be male, younger, and marginally housed and to present secondary to substance use. Although admissions among this population are low, the costs associated with these presentations are high. Interventions designed to decrease visits and improve the health of this population appear warranted.
To achieve our goal of excellent emergency cardiac care, our institution embarked on a Lean process improvement initiative. We sought to examine and quantify the outcome of this project on the care of suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients in our emergency department (ED).
Front-line ED staff participated in several rapid improvement events, using Lean principles and techniques such as waste elimination, supply chain streamlining, and standard work to increase the value of the early care provided to patients with suspected ACS. A chart review was also conducted. To evaluate our success, proportions of care milestones (first electrocardiogram [ECG], ECG interpretation, physician assessment, and acetylsalicylic acid [ASA] administration) meeting target times were chosen as outcome metrics in this before-and-after study.
The proportion of cases with 12-lead ECGs completed within 10 minutes of patient triage increased by 37.4% (p < 0.0001). The proportion of cases with physician assessment initiated within 60 minutes increased by 12.1% (p = 0.0251). Times to ECG, physician assessment, and ASA administration also continued to improve significantly over time (p values < 0.0001). Post-Lean, the median time from ECG performance to physician interpretation was 3 minutes. All of these improvements were achieved using existing staff and resources.
The application of Lean principles can significantly improve attainment of early diagnostic and therapeutic milestones of emergency cardiac care in the ED.
Some low-acuity emergency department (ED) presentations are considered convenience visits and potentially avoidable with improved access to primary care services. This study assessed the frequency and determinants of patients' efforts to access alternative care before ED presentation.
Patients aged 17 years and older were randomly selected from 2 urban ED sites in Edmonton. Survey data were collected on use and characteristics of alternative care before the ED visit. Information was also collected on patient demographics and factors influencing their perception of whether the ED was the best care option.
Of the 1389 patients approached, 905 (65%) completed the survey and data from 894 participants were analyzed. Sixty-one percent reported that they sought alternative care before visiting the ED. Eighty-nine of the patients who attempted alternative access before the ED visit felt that the ED was their best care option. Results of the multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that injury presentation, living arrangements, smoking status and whether or not patients had a family practitioner were predictors for seeking alternative care before visiting the ED.
Most ambulatory patients attempt to look for other sources of care before presenting to the ED. Despite this attempted access to alternative care, while patients wait for ED care, they perceive that the ED is their best care option at that point in time.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.