Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Emerg Med. 2001 Jan;19(1):10-4.

Can emergency department triage nurses predict patients' dispositions?

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Center for Emergency Care, University Hospital, Inc., Cincinnati, OH 45267-0769, USA.


Early recognition of inpatient bed requirements might be helpful in expediting the admission process through the emergency department (ED). With this in mind, we asked whether ED triage nurses could accurately predict patients' in-hospital dispositions. A prediction was recorded for 521 ED patients, of whom 107 (20.5%) were ultimately admitted to the hospital. Nurses correctly anticipated 66 of 107 hospital admissions (sensitivity = 61.7%, PPV = 61.7%). With respect to predicting specific levels of inpatient care, nurses correctly anticipated 17 of 45 floor admissions (sensitivity = 37.8%, PPV = 34.7%), 14 of 33 step-down/monitored unit admissions (sensitivity = 42.4%, PPV = 48.3%), and 12 of 24 intensive care unit admissions (sensitivity = 50.0%, PPV = 66.7%). Lacking in sensitivity and positive predictive value, particularly with regard to specific levels of inpatient care, triage nurses' predictions may have limited potential to expedite the admission process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center