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Emergency Prioritisation tools and their effectiveness

In recently published research involving professionals from across the Canadian emergency medical spectrum, they outline their finding on the tools available to prioritise patients.

Waiting lists should be managed as fairly as possible to ensure that patients with greater or more urgent needs receive services first. Patient prioritisation refers to the process of ranking referrals in a certain order based on various criteria with the aim of improving fairness and equity in the delivery of care. Despite the widespread use of patient prioritisation tools (PPTs) in healthcare services, the existing literature on this subject has mainly focused on emergency settings. Evidence has not been synthesized with respect to all the non-emergency services.


This review aims to perform a systematic synthesis of published evidence concerning (1) prioritization tools’ characteristics, (2) their metrological properties, and (3) their effect measures across non-emergency services. Five electronic databases will be searched (Cochrane Library, Ovid/MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and CINAHL). Eligibility criteria guiding data selection will be (1) qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods empirical studies; (2) patient prioritisation in any non-emergency setting; and (3) discussing characteristic, metrological properties, or effect measures. Data will be sought to report tool’s format, description, population, setting, purpose, criteria, developer, metrological properties, and outcome measures. Two reviewers will independently screen, select, and extract data. Data will be synthesised with sequential exploratory design method. We will use the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) to assess the quality of articles included in the review.

This systematic review will provide much-needed knowledge regarding patient prioritization tools. The results will benefit clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers by giving them a better understanding of the methods used to prioritis

The full review can be found here

Déry, J., Ruiz, A., Routhier, F. et al. Patient prioritization tools and their effectiveness in non-emergency healthcare services: a systematic review protocol. Syst Rev8, 78 (2019).


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