J Korean Clin Nurs Res.  2020 Apr;26(1):107-116. 10.22650/JKCNR.2020.26.1.107.

Inter-Rater Reliability of the Korean Triage and Acuity Scale

  • 1RN, Department of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Incheon ST. Mary’s Hospital, Incheon, Korea
  • 2Professor, College of Nursing, Gachon University, Korea


This study was a prospective survey to evaluate the Korean Triage and Acuity Scale (KTAS) inter-rater reliability and to identify discordant areas in the KTAS classification between nurses and paramedics in emergency department (ED).
Inter-rater reliability were evaluated using triage deta from January 11 to May 31, 2019. A convinience sample of a total of 800 patients who visited an emergnecy medical center in Incheon (400 adult and 400 pediatric patients in this study) were selected. The triages of this study a pair of one nurse and one paramedic performed triage at the same time, using the KTAS, Inter-rater reliability for the KTAS was evaluated with the weighted kappa.
The inter-rater reliability of the KTAS evaluated by weighted Kappa between nurse-paramedic KTAS score of adult patients was .71, and .66 for pediatric patients. Both were in the level considered as substantial. Among causes of triage discordance, the most frequently identified discordant item in triaging adults was the difference in the measurement of pain intensity (28.0%). For both adult and pediatric patients, multiple chief complaint was identified as the major discordant factor. In triaging pediatric patients the body temperature assessment by subjective judgments was the highest discordant item (50.7%).
The study result suggested that the KTAS demonstrated a reasonable level of inter-rater reliability and functioned as a standardized triage tool for emergency medical services. In order to improve the inter-rater reliability and classification competence, it is necessary to revise the current all-integrated KTAS provider course to be differentiated for each job group.


Emergency Department; Triage; Nurses; Paramedics; Reliability
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