The Manchester Triage System provides good reliability in an Australian emergency department

A I Grouse, R O Bishop, A M Bannon
Emergency Medicine Journal: EMJ 2009, 26 (7): 484-6

BACKGROUND: The Australasian Triage Scale is a simple five-point system of triage that forms the basis of triage in most emergency departments in Australia. The Manchester Triage System (MTS) is an algorithmic aid to the process of triage. It utilises a series of flow charts that lead the triage nurse to a logical choice of triage category also using a five-point scale.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the inter-rater reliability of the MTS in an Australian emergency department.

METHODS: 50 triage scenarios were derived from the notes of 50 consecutive patients who had presented to the emergency department. All available nurses who had been trained to use the MTS were invited to participate in the study. The nurses were asked to assign a triage category to each scenario using the MTS. Weighted kappas were calculated for all pairs of raters.

RESULTS: 20 nurses participated in the study. The range of kappas was 0.4007 to 0.8018, with a median of 0.6304.

CONCLUSION: The MTS is a reliable system of triage in the emergency department.

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