Italy, new colour codes for triage have come into force in emergency rooms

The new national guidelines for triage in emergency rooms are coming into force in the various Italian regions, and these days this has happened in Lombardy

Essentially, with this change in patient assessment, we go from four to five priority codes

Triage in the Emergency Department, the colour codes

Red – critical: interruption or impairment of one or more vital functions.

Orange – acute: vital functions at risk.

Blue – deferable urgent: stable condition with suffering. Requires in-depth diagnostics and complex specialist examinations.

Green – minor urgency: stable condition without evolutionary risk. Requires in-depth diagnostics and single-specialist visits.

White – non-urgent: non-urgent problem.

In the new colour code assignment, not only the level of criticality of the person arriving in the Emergency Department is assessed, but also the clinical-organisational complexity and the care commitment required to activate the care pathway.

The advantages of the new triage in the emergency department

This optimises the patient pathway and improves the patient experience.

Compared to the previous subdivision, in the new triage system the colour blue has been introduced to indicate a deferrable urgency, placed between orange (replacing yellow) and green.

In the discharge report, the colour is no longer indicated, but the priority definition: critical (emergency), acute (urgency), deferable urgency, minor urgency, non-urgent.

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