J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2020 Jun;31(3):323-329.

Appropriateness of triage by emergency medical technician using the Korean Triage and Acuity Scale

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Daegu Catholic University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea


Appropriate triage in emergency rooms is fundamental. This study assessed the appropriateness of the triage results using the Korean Triage and Acuity Scale (KTAS) by emergency medical technicians (EMT) by comparing an emergency physician and a KTAS instructor.
The medical records of patients who presented to a local emergency room for a month were analyzed retrospectively. This study compared the triage results using KTAS among EMTs, an emergency physician, and a KTAS instructor.
Among 2,248 patients, consistent KTAS codes of 1,453 patients (64.6%) were obtained between the EMTs and emergency physicians. In addition, a KTAS instructor had agreed with the results of EMT for 1,686 patients (75%). The Kappa value to evaluate the agreement between an emergency physician and a KTAS instructor was 0.72 (95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.89).
The results of triage using KTAS by EMT was appropriate because substantial agreement existed between an emergency physician and KTAS instructor. On the other hand, there were some inappropriate results of triage, and it is proposed that the results would be reflected in KTAS provider education programs aimed at EMTs. It is expected that qualified KTAS providers will be produced, and the quality of triage can be controlled and improved.


Triage; Korean Triage and Acuity Scale; Emergency medical technicians; Appropriateness
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