Quality and Effectiveness of a Pediatric Triage Training Program in a Guatemalan Public Hospital

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 Aug;32(8):525-8. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000277.


Objectives: This study aimed to develop and implement an Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT) training program at a Guatemalan public hospital. Collaborators included Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital, the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, and the Pan American Health Organization.

Methods: The ETAT is a World Health Organization program to teach pediatric assessment, triage, and initial management to health care workers in resource-limited settings. The Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital created ETAT training materials in Spanish (Clasificación, Evaluación y Tratamiento de Emergencias Pediátricas [CETEP]) and conducted a train-the-trainer course for Hospital Nacional Pedro Bethancourt (HNPB) health care leadership. The HNPB subsequently conducted local trainings using a modified curriculum. Midcourse modifications based on evaluations and focus groups included distribution of manuals before training and an adding a day to the course.Course quality was assessed using participant evaluations and comparing pretest and posttest scores. Effectiveness was defined as 90% concordance between triage levels assigned by participants and facilitators.

Results: A total of 249 health care workers were trained by 24 HNPB facilitators. Mean pretest and posttest scores were 55 and 70, respectively (P < 0.001). On a 4-point scale, participants rated overall course quality and effectiveness as 3.6. Mean pretest (49 vs 58, P = 0.002) and posttest scores (68 vs 72, P = 0.01) improved for groups trained after modifications, as did evaluations for course quality (3.4 vs 3.7, P < 0.001) and effectiveness (3.4 vs 3.8, P < 0.001). Triage levels were assigned with 95% concordance (confidence interval, 91.9-97.3) between participants and facilitators.

Conclusions: Hospital Nacional Pedro Bethancourt experts conducted high-quality trainings with locally relevant CETEP (ETAT) material. Trainings were effective and well received. The pediatric emergency department at HNPB now uses a triage system based on CETEP (ETAT).

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Female
  • Guatemala
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / standards*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality Improvement
  • Triage / standards*
  • Workforce