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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 29(6); 2018 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2018;29(6): 595-602.
Relevance of emergency level assessment by the Korean Triage and Acuity Scale for adult patients in a local emergency medical center
Gun Woo Lee, Suk Hee Lee , Kyung-Woo Lee , Tae Chang Jang , Gyun Moo Kim , Young Woo Seo , Seung Hyun Ko
Department of Emergency Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
Correspondence  Suk Hee Lee ,Tel: 053-650-4190, Fax: 053-650-4930, Email: mycozzy@naver.com,
Received: May 4, 2018; Revised: August 22, 2018   Accepted: October 2, 2018.  Published online: December 31, 2018.
The Korean Triage and Acuity Scale (KTAS), which was implemented in 2016, needs to be assessed for its validity and reliability. Here we evaluate the relevance of emergency level assessment by analyzing the validity of KTAS as a Korean standardized triage system.
We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of adults who presented to a local emergency room (ER) during an 18-month period. We compared medical resources used, life-saving interventions performed, length of stay (LOS) in ER, admission rate, and mortality at each KTAS level.
Among a total of 40,339 patients, most patients were at KTAS 4 (n=19,532, 48.4%) and the longest median LOS in ER was 450 minutes at KTAS 2. As the KTAS level increased, the percentage of medical resources used and life-saving interventions performed increased significantly. The odds of total admission and intensive care unit admission were significantly higher at KTAS 1 through 4 compared to those at KTAS 5. The odds related to admission and mortality were also significantly higher at KTAS 3 than at KTAS 4.
We concluded that the KTAS, as a Korean standardized triage system of emergency level assessment, is relevant. Further, KTAS 1-3 and KTAS 4-5 are appropriate criteria to distinguish emergency and non-emergency patients.
Key words: Korean Triage and Acuity Scale; Triage; Relevance; Validity
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