The Prioritization of Outpatients by Nurses Using the Manchester Triage System: A Case Analysis in An Austrian Accident Hospital
Keywords:Triage, Primary assessment, Outpatient management, Emergency service
Background: Increasing workload in hospitals calls for professional prioritization regarding treatment
urgency. The introduction of a triage system can offer assistance but requires experience and training.
Objective: This study investigates whether, in the initial assessment procedure in an emergency department
for trauma surgery, nurses (a) assess urgency following the triage systems’ rules and (b) apply these correctly
so subsequent medical diagnoses can be adequately performed.
Methods: We evaluated 5,975 patient data records regarding urgency ratings given in initial nursing
assessments and respective waiting times. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and nonparametric
test procedures to investigate significant differences.
Results: The results show that in 91% of cases, the waiting times reflect the urgency ratings given by the
first-assessing nurses. In addition, ratings of 5,863 cases (98%) corresponded to later medical diagnoses.
Conclusions: Initial assessments using the Manchester triage system is done very accurately and supports
the treatment process structure. In addition, it can increase patient satisfaction and safety.
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