Background: Because most primary health care centers in Oman do not use a formal triage system, there are no available data on the effectiveness of implementing this system. Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of implementing an Emergency Severity Index triage system in primary health care centers in Oman. Methods: A pretest/posttest quasi-experimental design was used. The sample comprised 187 patients before Emergency Severity Index implementation and 102 patients after implementation. Waiting time, length of stay, patient satisfaction, and accuracy of classification were compared across the 2 groups. Results: The mean time (hour:minute) from registration to triage was reduced in the post-Emergency Severity Index group (mean = 0:18, SD = 0:14) compared with the pre-Emergency Severity Index group (mean = 0:23, SD = 0:19) (t = 2.59, P = 0.01). Furthermore, the mean length of stay was reduced in the post-Emergency Severity Index group (mean = 1:09, SD = 0:37) compared with that of the preimplementation group (mean = 1:24, SD = 0:41) (t = 3.10, P = 0.002). Patient satisfaction in the postimplementation group was improved (mean = 66.95, SD = 8.33) compared with that of the Emergency Severity Index group (mean = 65.01, SD = 8.73), but it did not reach statistical significance (t = −1.83, P = 0.07). The inter-rater agreement of triage level in post-Emergency Severity Index implementation markedly improved in the postimplementation group (Cohen's kappa = 0.910, P < 0.001) compared with that of the preimplementation group (Cohen's kappa = 0.082, P = 0.005). Conclusions: Although this is a single-setting study, the results have shown that the Emergency Severity Index system can contribute to a decrease in the negative crowding outcomes in primary health care centers in Oman.
ASJC Scopus subject areas