Case studies

Read how eTriage is making a difference in Urgent Care Departments already.

eTriage: Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup UCC

eTriage is an innovative emergency triage platform that gets patients to the right care quickly. It has been created by the team of NHS clinicians behind eConsult, the UK’s biggest online consultation provider. eTriage allows ambulatory patients at Queen Mary’s Hospital UCC to check in and be triaged on one of the available iPads in the emergency or urgent care centre. They input their demographic details which are matched on the spine for their NHS number, then they answer a few brief clinical questions about their symptoms. The system automatically triages patients by clinical need into the clinical system. All within 5 minutes of arrival. As patients provide their history and check in at the same time, clinical staff are better informed of the patient’s condition as soon as they complete the eTriage form. Automatic triage into 5 priority categories (Manchester Triage), with alerts integrating into the clinical system, allows urgent patients to be flagged to clinical staff and attended to first. We have picked up a number of critically ill patients within minutes of their arrival, getting them immediate clinical intervention. We can also quickly identify those patients that may be appropriate for re-direction.

eTriage -- Patient flow within Urgent and Emergency Department

Key summary of a 6-month independent assessment (Candesic) of eTriage in Queen Mary’s Hospital UCC in Sidcup:

  • We set out to triage 80% of ambulatory attendances in Queen Mary’s Hospital in our pilot but have seen 99% – over 60,000 patients have been triaged this way.
  • Reduced time to initial assessment – improved from 70 to 100%, all patients are now being seen within 15 minutes of arrival. Reduced triage time by approximately 3 minutes.
  • Reduced time to treatment – improved patient flow contributes to an average reduction in time to treatment of 7 minutes and overall time in department has also reduced.
  • Reduced crowding in waiting room – there is 0-minute wait to check in for patients.
  • Improved staff and patient feedback – 58% staff believe that eTriage has saved time, 64% that eTriage has made them more efficient. Majority of patients prefer using eTriage to the traditional check in desk.
  • Safety – critically ill patients are picked up within minutes of arrival, creating of consistent and auditable clinical data and history, clinical risk flagging within each patient record, and by freeing up nurse time we allow more rapid dispensing of pain relief.
  • Improved redirection – low priority patients who can be served by other HCPs can be safely and quickly redirected, taking pressure off the A&E system.

One commissioner wrote to us following a visit saying eTriage was “a digital exemplar for the future delivery of urgent and emergency care”.