Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10.1186/s12873-019-0290-x.
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The Sydney Triage to Admission Risk Tool (START) is a validated clinical analytics tool designed to estimate the probability of in-patient admission based on Emergency Department triage characteristics.
This was a single centre pilot implementation study using a matched case control sample of patients assessed at ED triage. Patients in the intervention group were identified at triage by the START tool as likely requiring in-patient admission and briefly assessed by an ED Consultant. Bed management were notified of these patients and their likely admitting team based on senior early assessment. Matched controls were identified on the same day of presentation if they were admitted to the same in-patient teams as patients in the intervention group and same START score category. Outcomes were ED length of stay and proportion of patients correctly classified as an in-patient admission by the START tool.
One hundred and thirteen patients were assessed using the START-based model of care. When compared with matched control patients, this intervention model of care was associated with a significant reduction in ED length of stay [301 min (IQR 225–397) versus 423 min (IQR 297–587) p < 0.001] and proportion of patients meeting 4 h length of stay thresholds increased from 24 to 45% (p < 0.001).
In this small pilot implementation study, the START tool, when used in conjunction with senior early assessment was associated with a reduction in ED length of stay. Further controlled studies are now underway to further examine its utility across other ED settings.