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The Canadian Triage & Acuity Scale (CTAS) is a tool that enables Emergency Departments (ED) to:

  • Prioritize patient care and access requirements

  • Examine patient flow and care processes

  • Complement other workload, case mix, and resource requirement measures

The CTAS supports ED nurses and physicians to:

  • Triage patients according to acuity, risk, and care needs based on their presenting signs and symptoms

  • Ensure that the sickest and highest risk patients are seen first when ED capacity has been exceeded

  • Reassess patients required to wait for a treatment space

The CTAS allows ED managers to:

  • Capture and analyze ED patient visit based on volume, acuity and by CEDIS presenting complaint

  • Determine whether the ED has an operational plan and the resources to meet patient needs

  • Assess the ED’s role within the hospital and health care region

The triage level assigned using the CTAS criteria is a mandatory data element to be used in all Canadian Hospital Emergency Departments for reporting to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

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