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Johns Hopkins' electronic triage tool boosts ER efficiency, saves bed hours

October 05, 2018 / Paige Minemyer

Clinicians in the emergency department are often short on time, so researchers at Johns Hopkins are arming them with an electronic tool aimed at improving efficiency at triage. Hopkins built the Electronic Triage System, a machine learning program that uses data from the electronic health record to grade a patient’s severity of illness and in the first year of using the tool, found a significant change in how patients were sorted at triage. Under the traditional Emergency Severity Index (ESI), most patients are graded at a three, the exact middle of the scale, by triage nurses, said Scott Levin, Ph.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at Hopkins and the study’s lead author.