Deciding who needs urgent care and attention in hospitals can usually become a subjective choice. Oftentimes, people with life-threatening conditions or those with very serious injuries get treated first since it’s a matter of life and death.
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However, what about others who aren’t necessarily fighting for their lives but still have serious illnesses? How can we decide who gets prioritized and what measures will we use to make that decision so that it would be fair to all? A team of researchers may have the answer to these questions.
Our research group has developed an evidence-based tool that aims to help clinicians with these difficult decisions. The Responding to Urgency of Need in Palliative Care (RUN-PC) Triage Tool is expected to change practice internationally.
We conducted a foundational qualitative study with Victorian health professionals to better understand which factors clinicians use to assess the urgency of palliative care needs and the ethical aspects of their decision-making.
We used these results as the basis for an international online discrete choice experiment to determine how each of these factors should be weighted. We then developed a scoring system for the final Responding to Urgency of Need in Palliative Care (RUN-PC) Triage Tool.
(Image credit: Adhy Savala/Unsplash)