What is eTriage? | Enhancing Patient Care and Efficiency through Technology

by The DermEngine Team on May 29, 2024

eTriage refers to the use of electronic systems and technology to triage patients, typically in a healthcare setting. These systems aim to prioritize patients based on the severity of their condition using algorithms and data analysis. 

1. What Is Traditional Triage?

Traditional triage is a manual process used to prioritize patient care based on the severity of their condition. This method involves trained healthcare professionals, often nurses, who quickly assess patients' symptoms, vital signs, and medical history upon arrival. Using established protocols and their clinical judgment, they categorize patients into different urgency levels, ensuring that those with life-threatening conditions receive immediate attention, while those with less critical issues wait longer. Traditional triage relies heavily on the expertise and experience of the healthcare staff, aiming to optimize resource allocation and patient outcomes in high-pressure environments.
2. How can technology be used to improve patient care and efficiency?

Technology has the potential to enhance the manual process of triage by providing standardized assessments in electronic form for patients to complete on a provided tablet or their mobile phones. These electronic assessments replicate the triage experience where nurses ask the same questions across all patients to determine a fair, order of care. This data is relayed to healthcare professionals, allowing them to make informed decisions about patient care and streamline the triage process.

DermEngine-etriage-dermatology software

Some dermatology software, such as DermEngine, are utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze cases by key characteristics to label as high or low risk. This intelligent pre-labelling effectively supports a clinician’s workflow by offering insights into the likelihood of malignancy and thus urgency to determine the order of care. This is based on a growing database of thousands of previously labelled cases. The provider can check to ensure their identification is the same as the algorithm. If corrected, it trains the algorithm and increases the accuracy for future images. eTriage also helps improve operational efficiency through these key characteristics: 

  • Automation: eTriage systems can automatically assess patient data, including vital signs, symptoms, and medical history, to determine the urgency of care needed.
  • Efficiency: By streamlining the triage process, eTriage can reduce wait times, improve patient flow, and allocate medical resources more effectively.
  • Consistency: eTriage systems provide standardized assessments, reducing variability in triage decisions that might occur with human evaluators.
  • Data Integration: These systems often integrate with electronic health records (EHRs) to provide a comprehensive view of the patient's health status and history.
  • Decision Support: eTriage can offer clinical decision support to healthcare providers, aiding in quick and accurate decision-making.
  • Real-time Monitoring: Some eTriage systems continuously monitor patient data and update triage status in real-time, ensuring timely intervention when a patient's condition changes.

The integration of technology in healthcare, particularly the use of artificial intelligence, holds immense promise for the future. By enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and consistency in patient care, these advancements can significantly improve healthcare delivery. As these technologies continue to evolve and improve through constant feedback and learning, they will empower healthcare professionals, reduce administrative burdens, and ultimately lead to better patient outcomes. The future of healthcare is bright, with technology serving as a powerful ally in the quest for more effective and compassionate care.

-The MetaOptima Team

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence Health Data eTriage Services Dermatology Software Dermatology EMR Software Health Tech eTriage