Establishing Research Priorities for the Emergency Severiy Index using a Modified Delphi Approach

For which topic were research priorities identified?

emergency severity index

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Errors in triage can challenge safe patient care; specif ically, under-triage (assignment of an inappropriately low acuity score) can result in dangerous delay of necessary med ical care, and over-triage (when patients who are less critical are assigned a higher priority) can lead to resource overuse and delays in providing care for those with more urgent needs. Research findings suggest that not only do emergency triage nurses demonstrate high error rates on average, but that the nurses’ errors are also clustered around specific presentations, including those that would be high risk. More research needs to be conducted on both the process and application of the ESI when making a triage assignation to improve the use of the ESI.

What was the objective?

to establish a research agenda for the improvement of individual and institutional understanding and use of the Emergency Severity Index

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 18 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: survey asking: "What do you see as the most pressing research gaps in the process of ESI triage? What do you see as the most pressing research gaps in the application of the ESI algorithm? What do you see as the most pressing research gaps in the triage of ED populations? Are there any other emergency care issues related to ESI that you weren’t able to address in the previous questions?" 112 issues submitted. Step 2: data processing: resulting in 18 potential research questions in 4 general categories. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants asked to rate importance. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants asked to rank categories and questions

Which stakeholders took part?

Emergency nurses. 14 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The study sample (N=14) was recruited from expert emergency nurses participating in a work team on ESI triage.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.