Nurses' accuracy and self-perceived ability using the Emergency Severity Index triage tool: A cross-sectional study in four Swiss hospitals

Karin Jordi, Florian Grossmann, Gary Gaddis, Eva Cignacco, Kris Denhaerynck, René Schwendimann, Christian H. Nickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The Emergency Severity Index (ESI) is an English language emergency department patient triage tool. After translation, it has been adapted for use to triage patients in growing numbers of emergency departments in non-English-speaking countries. Few reports of the proficiency of triage nurses to score an ESI exist. We sought to determine accuracy, inter-rater reliability, and subjective confidence of triage nurses at four hospitals to determine an ESI from standardized ESI scenarios. Methods: Triage nurses assigned an ESI score to each of 30 standard ESI (ESI Implementation Handbook Version 4) translated teaching case scenarios. Accuracy and Inter-rater reliability (Krippendorff's alpha) of the ESI scoring was measured. Nurses' subjective confidence applying the ESI algorithm was obtained by a Likert scale. Results: Sixty-nine nurses from four EDs participated in the study. They scored 59.6% of the case scenarios correctly. Inter-rater reliability was 0.78 (Krippendorff's alpha). Most (54/69, 78%) felt confident in their ability to apply the ESI. Conclusions: Low accuracy of ESI score assignment was observed when nurses scored an ESI for 30 standard written case scenarios, translated into nurses' native language, despite a good inter-rater reliability and high nurse confidence in their ability to apply the ESI. Although feasible, using standard written case scenarios to determine ESI triage scoring effectiveness may not be the optimum means to rate nurses' triage skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2015

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