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Evaluation of Emergency Triage Using a Computerized Simulator

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00321243
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 3, 2006
Last Update Posted : June 4, 2008
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
University Hospital, Geneva

Brief Summary:

A four-level triage scale (the Geneva Emergency Triage Scale, GETS) has been used since 1997 in our emergency department (ED). A recent evaluation of this scale showed that our instrument had an excellent intra-rater reliability but insufficient inter-rater reliability. We also observed a wide variability in the way triage nurses perform (J Clin Epidemiology, 2006 in press). These variations in the triage process are mainly explained by a poor standardization of vital signs measurement. Therefore, we have recently modified our triage instrument and introduced explicit criteria for vital signs evaluation during the triage process.

The objectives of this study are:

  • To evaluate the inter- and intra-rater reliability of our modified triage scale using a computer simulator
  • To measure the impact of visual clues on the triage decisions when using the triage simulator
  • To evaluate the performance of triage nurses and chief physicians in their triage decisions.

We expect to observe:

  • an improvement of the inter-rater reliability of our instrument compared to the previous version
  • a better standardization and more systematic use of vital signs measurement
  • a higher reliability when visual clues are given to the evaluator
  • lower rates of under- and over-estimation of emergency levels.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Emergencies Behavioral: Visual clues Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

A four-level triage scale (the Geneva Emergency Triage Scale, GETS) has been used since 1997 in our emergency department (ED). A recent evaluation of this scale showed that our instrument had an excellent intra-rater reliability but insufficient inter-rater reliability. We also observed a wide variability in the way triage nurses perform (J Clin Epidemiology, 2006 in press). These variations in the triage process are mainly explained by a poor standardization of vital signs measurement. Therefore, we have recently modified our triage instrument and introduced explicit criteria for vital signs evaluation during the triage process.

The objectives of this study are:

  • To evaluate the inter- and intra-rater reliability of our modified triage scale using a computer simulator
  • To measure the impact of visual clues on the triage decisions when using the triage simulator
  • To evaluate the performance of triage nurses and chief physicians in their triage decisions.

We expect to observe:

  • an improvement of the inter-rater reliability of our instrument compared to the previous version
  • a better standardization and more systematic use of vital signs measurement
  • a higher reliability when visual clues are given to the evaluator
  • lower rates of under- and over-estimation of emergency levels.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 150 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Official Title: Evaluation of a Four-Level Triage Scale (the Geneva Emergency Triage Scale) Using a Computer Triage Simulator
Study Start Date : May 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2007
Actual Study Completion Date : May 2007



Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Inter-rater and intra-rater reliability
  2. Performance of evaluators

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Impact of visual clues on reliability


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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Triage nurses
  • Emergency physicians

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00321243


Locations
Switzerland
Geneva University Hospitals
Geneva, Switzerland, 1211
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Hospital, Geneva
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Olivier T Rutschmann, MD, MPH University Hospital, Geneva

Responsible Party: O. Rutschmann, HUG, Geneva
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00321243     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CER 05-213
First Posted: May 3, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 4, 2008
Last Verified: June 2008

Keywords provided by University Hospital, Geneva:
triage

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Emergencies
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes