QHC Strives to Standardize and Improve the Triage Process with the Implementation of eCTAS
By March 2017, Quinte Health Care (QHC) will become one of the first Ontario hospitals to implement the electronic Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (eCTAS) intelligent decision support system to standardize the application of CTAS guidelines across the province.
The eCTAS system will:
- Improve patient safety and quality of care, ensuring patients are assigned an accurate CTAS level in a consistent manner;
- Calculate a CTAS score based on triage nurse input that can be accepted or overridden based on clinical judgment;
- Provide triage nurses with an intuitive CTAS support tool designed by over 85 clinical Emergency Department (ED) experts from across the province;
- Support internal clinical processes through an innovative, flexible design;
- Record a consistent, electronic record of the triage assessment; and
- Enable consistent metrics for health system performance and provide real-time clinical triage data for provincial reporting and benchmarking.
A working group at QHC is reviewing the list of questions that are currently being asked by the Triage Nurse and making adjustments to ensure only questions remain that will inform a nurse of the most appropriate triage score.
"While we realize that every question we ask in triage is important, some questions, however have no relevancy in the decision making process by the nurse. This will help to minimize the variability in triage scoring," said Ruthann Hubbs, Manager of Trenton Memorial Hospital Emergency Department and eCTAS Project Manager. "As with any new process, some staff will have a learning curve, but once our staff transition to the new way, it will be an improved, standardized and more consistent approach to triaging patients."
To learn about the Ontario Hospital Association's (OHA) CTAS course, click here.
This article was featured in this month's edition of Healthscape news: http://www.healthscape.ca/Pages/news-06022016-QHCtriageprocess.aspx