What is the impact of team triage as an intervention on waiting times in an adult emergency department? – A systematic review

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International Emergency Nursing


Aim: To examine the impact of team triage on waiting times in adult emergency departments. Design: A systematic review using narrative analysis. Method: Systematic review methodology, which included quantitative research papers consisting of randomized control trials, cohort or quasi-experimental studies. The PICO framework was used to formulate the question. Using a structured search, databases were used to source the research papers. Databases searched were Cochrane, CINAHL and MEDLINE. Twelve (12) research papers met the inclusion criteria. Each of the 12 papers were quality appraised using a recognised checklist. Data extraction was carried out and the findings were analysed using a narrative approach. Results: It was found that senior emergency doctors in triage alongside the triage nurse allows for more timely decision making and appropriate investigation orders. Early bed requesting or referral to specialist consultation were also found to improve waiting times. Reduced numbers of patients who leave without being seen and lower mortality rates were recorded when using team triage. Patient satisfaction is also improved by team triage. Conclusion: Team triage improves waiting times in the emergency department.

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