Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://docs.prosentient.com.au/prosentientjspui/handle/1/10978
Title: Emergency department triage of indigenous and non-indigenous patients in tropical Australia.
Authors: Johnston-Leek, M
Sprivulis, P
Stella, J
Palmer, D
Affiliation: Department of Emergency Medicine, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Australia. johnstonleek@bigpond.com.
Issue Date: Sep-2001
Citation: Emergency medicine (Fremantle, W.A.) 2001-09; 13(3): 333-7
Abstract: To examine the relationship between ethnicity and triage at a tertiary hospital emergency department. Electronic Emergency Department Information System data analysis was used to examine the relationship between ethnicity and triage allocation and process times between 1 April 1999 and 29 June 1999. Outcome measures were waiting times by triage category and admission rate by triage category. There were 9614 attendances: 1949 indigenous (20.3%), 7328 non-indigenous (76.2%) and 337 (3.5%) had no ethnicity recorded. Indigenous patients were more often female (1033; 53%, CI 51-55%) than non-indigenous patients (3078; 42.0%, CI 41-43%, P < 0.001). Indigenous patients presented more often with illness (70% CI 68-72%) rather than injury (30%, CI 28-32%), compared with the non-indigenous patients, illness (64%, CI 63-65%), injury (36%, CI 35-37%, P < 0.001). Indigenous patients were more likely to be triaged to national triage scale categories 1, 2 or 3 (36%, CI 34-38%) than non-indigenous patients (32%, CI 31-33%, P = 0.011). Admission rates for indigenous patients were higher than non-indigenous patients across all urgency categories and were within national triage scale guidelines. Non-indigenous admission rates were well below national triage scale guidelines for all urgency categories. The overall admission rate for indigenous patients was double (33%, CI 31-35%) that for non-indigenous patients (16%, CI 15-17%, P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between indigenous and non-indigenous waiting times. Indigenous patients are more likely to present with illness rather than injury and are more likely to require admission than non-indigenous patients. Indigenous patients are triaged in accordance with Australasian triage guidelines. Many non-indigenous patients should be triaged to lower urgency categories to allow resource allocation towards higher acuity indigenous and non-indigenous patients.
URI: http://docs.prosentient.com.au/prosentientjspui/handle/1/10978
ISSN: 1035-6851
Type: Comparative Study
Journal Article
Subjects: Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Australia
Child
Confidence Intervals
Emergency Medical Services
Female
Guidelines as Topic
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Patient Admission
Retrospective Studies
Rural Health
Time Factors
Triage
Tropical Climate
Urban Health
Medicine, Traditional
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