Multidisciplinary assessment at triage: a new way forward

Emerg Med Australas. 2004 Feb;16(1):41-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2004.00541.x.


Objective: To evaluate a dual doctor and nurse triage system at a tertiary referral hospital.

Methods: Data were compared between periods of multidisciplinary triage and periods of standard triage. Data comparison was also made between rostered multidisciplinary triage shifts and non-multidisciplinary triage shifts. Staff satisfaction with the process was assessed.

Results: The percentage of patients seen within Australasian Triage Scale performance indicator thresholds increased from 75% to 81% in Category 2 patients (P = 0.12) and 56% to 78% in Category 3 patients (P < 0.0001). There was a reduction of 50% in the number of patients who left prior to being seen by a doctor (P = 0.024). Surveys showed high staff satisfaction with the process.

Conclusions: We feel that multidisciplinary triage performs a useful function in our department enabling us to reduce waiting times. The process is widely accepted amongst the staff and it ensures a senior doctor assesses most patients. It reduces the number of patients leaving prior to being seen by a doctor and it provides one way of getting around access block and a physically small department.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Emergency Medicine / education
  • Emergency Medicine / organization & administration
  • Emergency Nursing / education
  • Emergency Nursing / organization & administration
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Health Services Research
  • Hospitals, Urban / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings / standards
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Physician-Nurse Relations
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Time Factors
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration
  • Triage / organization & administration*
  • Victoria
  • Waiting Lists