Table of Contents
Advances in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7213625, 6 pages
Research Article

Implementing Triage Standing Orders in the Emergency Department Leads to Reduced Physician-to-Disposition Times

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, 1329 SW 16th Street, P.O. Box 100186, Gainesville, FL 32610-0186, USA

Received 13 January 2016; Accepted 31 May 2016

Academic Editor: Patrick Schober

Copyright © 2016 Charles W. Hwang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Emergency departments (EDs) throughout USA have improvised various processes to curb the “national epidemic” termed ED “crowding.” Standing orders (SOs), one such process, are medical orders approved by the medical director and entered by nurses when patients cannot be seen expeditiously, expediting medical decision-making and decreasing length of stay (LOS) and time to disposition. This retrospective cohort study evaluates the impact of SOs on ED LOS and disposition time at a large university ED. Results indicate that SOs significantly improve ED throughput by reducing disposition time by up to 16.9% (), which is especially significant in busy ED settings. SOs by themselves are not sufficient for a complete diagnostic assessment. Strategies such as having a provider in the waiting area may help make key decisions earlier.