Emergency department triage performance timing. A regional multicenter descriptive study in Italy

Stefano Bambi, Marco Ruggeri, Sandra Sansolino, Massimo Gabellieri, Sabrina Tellini, Monica Giusti, Elisa Ciulli, Federica Franchi, Laura Petrocchi, Mauro Olivi, Raffaele Carlo Gravili, Paola Biancalana, Andrea Millanti, Luca Martini, Paola Sgrevi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives We explored the time employed by nurses to perform the ED triage process in the clinical setting. Moreover, we assessed the influences on triage timing performance exerted by variables related to nurses, local EDs' features, and by interruptions. Methods This is a multicenter prospective descriptive-explorative study performed in 11 EDs of the Tuscany region (Italy), using a 5 tier triage system. The sample was made up of 1/3 of nurses working in each ED. Sampling was performed by a stratified proportional randomization (length of service classes: <5 years; 5–10 years; >10 years). Triage nurses were observed during their triage work-shift. Results In 2014, 120 nurses were observed, during 1114 triage processes. The timings of triage phases were: waiting time to triage, median 2.55 min (IQR 1.28–5.03 min; range 0.1–56.25 min); triage duration, median 2.58 min (IQR 1.36–4.35 min; range 0.07–50 min). 400 interruptions were recorded (35.9%). In 9.9% there were 2 interruptions at least. There were significant differences in the medians of triage duration among the years of nurses' triage experience (P < 0.001). The presence of interruption was significantly associated with the increasing of the time intervals in all the triage phases (P < 0.0001). Finally, we recorded significant differences in all the triage time phases between the EDs. Conclusion We found that the nurses triage time performances are similar to other triage systems in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency department
  • Nurses
  • Performance
  • Standard
  • Timing
  • Triage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency


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