Background: Physician in triage and rotational patient assignment are different front-end processes that are designed to improve patient flow, but there are little or no data comparing them. Objective: To compare physician in triage with rotational patient assignment with respect to multiple emergency department (ED) operational metrics. Methods: Design-Retrospective cohort review. Patients-Patients seen on 23 days on which we utilized a physician in triage with those patients seen on 23 matched days when we utilized rotational patient assignment. Results: There were 1,869 visits during physician in triage and 1,906 visits during rotational patient assignment. In a simple comparison, rotational patient assignment was associated with a lower median length of stay (LOS) than physician in triage (219 min vs. 233 min; difference of 14 min; 95% confidence interval [CI] 5-27 min). In a multivariate linear regression incorporating multiple confounders, there was a nonsignificant reduction in the geometric mean LOS in rotational patient assignment vs. physician in triage (204 min vs. 217 min; reduction of 6.25%; 95% CI -3.6% to 15.2%). There were no significant differences between groups for left before being seen, left subsequent to being seen, early (within 72 h) returns, early returns with admission, or complaint ratio. Conclusions: In a single-site study, there were no statistically significant differences in important ED operational metrics between a physician in triage model and a rotational patient assignment model after adjusting for confounders.
- ED front-end
- Physician in triage
- Rotational patient assignment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine