Internship project: The impact of virtual triage on emergency department patient activity and system efficiency

Project Participants

Status: Completed


Emergency Departments (EDs) are under increasing pressure due to the high demand for ED access. This study aims to develop a virtual triage model for Northern Health ED, and to determine what key outcomes can be measured to assess the impact on the whole health system.  The overall aim is to use telehealth services to manage a proportion of ED patients in the community and provide evidence of effectiveness.

Project Objectives

The objectives of the virtual triage model are to safely triage self-presenting emergency patients, streamline patient care to bypass the waiting room and provide an acceptable alternative model for the public. The overall objective is to develop and test an efficient and practical virtual triage model for Northern Health Emergency Department and to manage a proportion of ED patients in the community:

  • to screen patients remotely rather than having them visit the hospital
  • to triage patients and to advise and support patients who do not need urgent medical intervention or could receive care at home
  • optimise ED resources to reduce overcrowding and avoid prolonged patients waits
  • keep potentially infected individuals out of hospitals to lower the risk of transmission to other patients and healthcare staff

Integrity, Excellence,
Teamwork and Authenticity