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Article: Triage accuracy of online symptom checkers for Accident and Emergency Department patients

TitleTriage accuracy of online symptom checkers for Accident and Emergency Department patients
Authors
Issue Date2020
PublisherSage Publishing on behalf of the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine and The Hong Kong Society for Emergency Medicine and Surgery. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.hkjem.com
Citation
Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2020, v. 27 n. 4, p. 217-222 How to Cite?
AbstractBackground: Overutilisation of the Accident and Emergency Department is an increasingly serious healthcare challenge. Online symptom checkers could help alleviate this challenge by allowing patients to self-triage before visiting the Accident and Emergency Department. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the triage accuracy of online symptom checkers, which would help determine the potential roles of symptom checkers in an Accident and Emergency Department setting. Methods: A total of 100 random Accident and Emergency Department records were sampled from the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. The inclusion criteria were patients over the age of 18 attending the Queen Mary Hospital Accident and Emergency Department in 2016. Symptom checkers by Drugs.com and FamilyDoctor were selected as representative tools. One triage recommendation was generated by each symptom checker for each case record. Each symptom checker’s triage accuracy was then evaluated using a few outcome measures: overall sensitivity, sensitivity for emergency cases and specificity for non-emergency cases, when compared with the triage categories assigned by the triage nurses. Results: The results showed that Drugs.com had a higher overall triage accuracy than FamilyDoctor (74% and 50%, respectively), but both checkers are inadequately sensitive to emergency cases (70% and 45%, respectively) with low negative predictive values (43% and 24%, respectively). Conclusion: In their current states, symptom checkers are not yet suitable as alternatives to Accident and Emergency Department triage protocols due to their low overall sensitivities and negative predictive values. However, symptom checkers might serve as useful Accident and Emergency Department adjuncts in other ways, such as to provide more information prior to a patient’s arrival to streamline the triage and preparation process at the Accident and Emergency Department.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/269588
ISSN
2019 Impact Factor: 0.214
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.173

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYu, SWY-
dc.contributor.authorMa, A-
dc.contributor.authorTsang, VHM-
dc.contributor.authorChung, LSW-
dc.contributor.authorLeung, SC-
dc.contributor.authorLeung, LP-
dc.date.accessioned2019-04-24T08:10:43Z-
dc.date.available2019-04-24T08:10:43Z-
dc.date.issued2020-
dc.identifier.citationHong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2020, v. 27 n. 4, p. 217-222-
dc.identifier.issn1024-9079-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/269588-
dc.description.abstractBackground: Overutilisation of the Accident and Emergency Department is an increasingly serious healthcare challenge. Online symptom checkers could help alleviate this challenge by allowing patients to self-triage before visiting the Accident and Emergency Department. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the triage accuracy of online symptom checkers, which would help determine the potential roles of symptom checkers in an Accident and Emergency Department setting. Methods: A total of 100 random Accident and Emergency Department records were sampled from the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. The inclusion criteria were patients over the age of 18 attending the Queen Mary Hospital Accident and Emergency Department in 2016. Symptom checkers by Drugs.com and FamilyDoctor were selected as representative tools. One triage recommendation was generated by each symptom checker for each case record. Each symptom checker’s triage accuracy was then evaluated using a few outcome measures: overall sensitivity, sensitivity for emergency cases and specificity for non-emergency cases, when compared with the triage categories assigned by the triage nurses. Results: The results showed that Drugs.com had a higher overall triage accuracy than FamilyDoctor (74% and 50%, respectively), but both checkers are inadequately sensitive to emergency cases (70% and 45%, respectively) with low negative predictive values (43% and 24%, respectively). Conclusion: In their current states, symptom checkers are not yet suitable as alternatives to Accident and Emergency Department triage protocols due to their low overall sensitivities and negative predictive values. However, symptom checkers might serve as useful Accident and Emergency Department adjuncts in other ways, such as to provide more information prior to a patient’s arrival to streamline the triage and preparation process at the Accident and Emergency Department.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherSage Publishing on behalf of the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine and The Hong Kong Society for Emergency Medicine and Surgery. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.hkjem.com-
dc.relation.ispartofHong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.titleTriage accuracy of online symptom checkers for Accident and Emergency Department patients-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailLeung, SC: lsc676a@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailLeung, LP: leunglp@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityLeung, SC=rp02523-
dc.identifier.authorityLeung, LP=rp02032-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/1024907919842486-
dc.identifier.hkuros297645-
dc.identifier.volume27-
dc.identifier.issue4-
dc.identifier.spage217-
dc.identifier.epage222-
dc.publisher.placeHong Kong-

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