Early Rooming Triage: Accuracy and Demographic Factors Associated with Clinical Acuity

David Y. Zhang, Bradley Shy, Nicholas Genes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Early rooming triage increases patient throughput and satisfaction by rapidly assigning patients to a definitive care area, without using vital signs or detailed chart review. Despite these operational benefits, the clinical accuracy of early rooming triage is not well known. We sought to measure the accuracy of early rooming triage and uncover additional patient characteristics that can assist triage. Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective population study of walk-in emergency department (ED) patients presenting to the ED via an early rooming triage system, examining triage accuracy and demographic factor correlation with higher acuity ED outcomes. Results: Among all patients included from the three-year study period (N = 238,457), early rooming triage was highly sensitive (0.89) and less specific (0.61) for predicting which patients would have a severe outcome in the ED. Patients triaged to the lowest acuity area of the ED experienced severe outcomes in 4.39% of cases, while patients triaged to the highest acuity area of the ED experienced severe outcomes in 65.9% of cases. An age of greater than 43 years (odds ratio [OR] 3.48, 95% confidence interval: 3.40, 3.57) or patient's home address farther from the ED ([OR] 2.23 to 3.08) were highly correlated with severe outcomes. Multivariable models incorporating triage team judgment were robust for predicting severe outcomes at triage, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic of 0.82. Conclusion: Early rooming workflows are appropriately sensitive for ED triage. Consideration of demographic factors, automated or otherwise, can augment ED processes to provide optimal triage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalWestern Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

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