triage (in general practice)
Last reviewed 01/2018
Triage evolved from the military procedure of giving priority to injured soldiers who were expected to benefit the most from medical care.
In accident and emergency departments and general practice co-operatives the philosophy can be extended to directing patients to the most appropriate type of care.
In some cases specific accident and emergency guidelines suggest problems which should be refused care.
Among a random sample of patients presenting to an accident and emergency department, primary care physicians provided a less costly non-emergency ambulatory care than did emergency physicians.
Telephone consultation appears to reduce the number of surgery contacts and out-of-hours visits by general practitioners (3)
- (1) Derlet R et al. Refusing care to patients who present to an emergency department. Ann Emerg Med 1990;19: 262-7.
- (2) Dale J et al (1995). Primary Care in the accident and emergency department.BMJ 1995;311: 423-6.
- (3) Bunn F et al. Telephone consultation and triage: effects on health care use and patient satisfaction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD004180.