Inter-rater reliability of the National Triage Scale over 11,500 simulated occasions of triage

Jelinek, George, and Little, Mark (1996) Inter-rater reliability of the National Triage Scale over 11,500 simulated occasions of triage. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 8 (4). pp. 226-230.

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Since its introduction in 1993, the National Triage Scale (NTS), a five­ category scale based on the optimal time to medical intervention, has been introduced into most Australasian emergency departments as the basis of triage, clinical .indicators and in some departments, casemix classification. The scale is a modification of the Ipswich Triage Scale (ITS), developed in 1989. This scale was shown in separate studies in Ipswich and Perth to be reliable and valid. The NTS however, although well validated, particularly with regard to resource use, workload and admission rates, has not been formally tested for inter-rater reliability.

In this study the inter-rater reliability of the NTS was assessed in eight Western Australian hospital emergency departments, covering teaching, non­ teaching, rural and private hospitals, using the same methodology and patient profiles as the original ITS study. One hundred and fifteen triage nurses ill these hospitals triaged 100 written patient profiles using the NTS. Inter-rater reliability was acceptable. Of the 115 respondents, 95% were one category of the modal response for all but four patient profiles and 86% were one category for all patient profiles. Concurrence, or the percentage of responses in the modal category, was good. For 89% of the profiles, more than 50% of trieurs agreed with the modal response. The distribution of modal responses was not significantly affected by hospital type or triage nurse experience. The inter-rater reliability of the NTS overall was slightly better than for the ITS in 1989.

Emergency physicians, hospital administrators and government authorities can be confident that this widely used scale is a reliable measure of urgency.

Item ID: 39470
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-6723
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 00:54
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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