Emergency departments miss triage times

December 18, 2009

Percent of patients in the emergency department seen by a physician within the recommended triage time is at its lowest point in at least 10 years.

The percentage of patients in the ED seen by a physician within the recommended triage time is at its lowest point in at least 10 years, according to a study in a November edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers studied 151,999 ED visits between 1997 and 2006. They found the percentage of patients seen within the triage target time declined from 80 percent in 1997 to 76 in 2006. The percentage of patients seen within the triage target time declined from 59 to 48 percent for the most serious emergent patients, and 91 to 85 percent for the less urgent patients.