Factors that influence the accuracy of triage nurses' judgement in emergency departments

Shu Shin Chen, Jih Chang Chen, Chip Jin Ng, Ping Ling Chen, Pi-Hsia Lee, Wen Yin Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To gain an understanding of the accuracy of acuity assessment made by emergency department (ED) triage nurses, to compare the differences between the characteristics of triage nurses according to hospital variables and the accuracy of acuity ratings, and to explore the influence of nursing variables on the judgement of triages. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted at the EDs of hospitals in northern Taiwan. Ten adult emergency case scenarios and a demographic sheet with high validity were developed to survey 279 triage nurses. Data were collected from April to October 2006. All data were analysed using percentage, mean, SD, independent t test, one-way ANOVA and a stepwise logistic regression analysis. Results: The average score of rating accuracy was 5.62 points (out of a possible total of 10 points), which was considered low. Approximately 24.3% (n=68) of nurses' triage ratings were under-triaged and 19.7% (n=55) were over-triaged. Factors included years of ED experience, hours of triage education, level of hospital and triage mode of delivery. These factors were identified as significantly affecting the accuracy of nurses' judgement (p2=40.0%). Conclusion: The scores of accuracy ratings for triage nurses can be improved if factors contributing to inaccuracy can be altered. The findings of this study can be used to guide improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
JournalEmergency medicine journal : EMJ
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine


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