Emergency department physician telemedical triage

Stephen J. Traub, Rebecca Butler, Yu Hui Chang, Christopher Lipinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Telemedical physician triage (TPT) is a potential application of telemedicine in the emergency department (ED). We report the technical success, patient satisfaction, and effect on ED throughput metrics (length of stay [LOS] and time to physician evaluation [TPE]) of TPT performed on a mobile platform. Materials and Methods: Patients underwent standard nursing triage with or without TPT. Technical success is reported as raw data. Patient satisfaction is reported as raw data±standard deviation on a 5-point (low-to-high) scale. LOS and TPE are reported as mean±SD [95% CI] values. Statistical analyses of LOS and TPE are via two-sample t test. Results: One hundred six patients were registered during intervention periods, and TPT was completed in 36 (34%). One hundred ninety-six patients were registered during control periods. The technical success rate was 95%. Average patient satisfaction was 4.7 on a 5-point scale. The primary analysis (106 patients) showed no change in LOS (266±101 [244-288] min versus 258±172 [234-282] min) but a trend toward improved TPE with TPT (35±28 [29-41] min versus 42±31 [38-46] min) (p=0.052). A secondary analysis (36 patients) showed no change in LOS (273±125 [231-316] min versus 258±172 [234-282] min) but improved TPE with TPT (16±15 [11-21] min versus 42±31 [38-46] min) (p<0.0001). Conclusions: TPT in the ED on a mobile platform was technically successful, well accepted by patients, and associated with a decrease in TPE but not LOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-845
Number of pages5
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Emergency department
  • Mobile platform
  • Telemedical physician triage
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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