Evaluating the use of patient pathway scores in medical assessments
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Evaluating the use of patient pathway scores in medical assessments

Sarah Rothery Trainee advanced practitioner, acute medicine, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust, England
Helen Green Director of student education, University of Leeds, England
Claire Hale Emeritus professor of clinical nursing, University of Leeds, England

This article describes the modification and testing of a triage tool, the patient pathway assessment score (PPAS), which could be used by all grades of nursing staff to triage patients in a medical assessment area (MAA). The aim was to increase patient satisfaction and reduce waiting times.


Staff scored all patients using PPAS, but used the existing triage process to assign patients to one of the MAA’s two pathways. Two researchers reviewed patients’ notes retrospectively to determine which pathway they should have followed and compared this to the outcome that would have occurred if the PPAS score had been used.


Full, rather than theoretical, use of the PPAS tool could have reduced patient waiting times, as 55 (24%) out of 231 patients would have been allocated to the correct pathway.


The tool could improve patients’ journeys through the MAA by ensuring they are allocated to the correct pathway. It is now implemented in practice.

Emergency Nurse. 24, 9, 27-31. doi: 10.7748/en.2017.e1602



Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 24 May 2016

Accepted: 31 October 2016

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