Emergency Medicine

Informatics Program

Good health informatics supports good clinical decisions. When care providers have the right information at their fingertips, emergency department patients can expect timely, appropriate, and consistent care.

At the Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM), we're working to synthesize the best-evidenced information available, and to develop efficient and effective ways to put that information to work in clinical settings.

General Health Informatics

DEM Clinician researchers and their teams have been contributing to the health informatics body of knowledge for nearly two decades. Emergency medicine research took formal shape within the department in the mid-1990s, with health informatics research following in 2000. Since then, DEM researchers and their teams have gained widened recognition. Many of the clinical practice guidelines they researched and developed have been put to work in the emergency department, leading to improved patient care. They have made significant contributions to the field locally, nationally, and internationally.

Computer Decision Support Applications

In 2002, we designed, developed and deployed our first web application for electronic clinical practice guidelines (eCPG). Since then, we have significantly refined and expanded the application. Beginning in May 2006, we rolled the system out in Edmonton and the surrounding region.

The application's modular design allows us to continually develop new topic areas, adding them to the main framework as sub-projects. There are currently over 40 sub-projects covering a wide array of topics.

We developed our first eTRIAGE web application in 2002, as part of a larger study measuring the impact of applied informatics. By the end of 2003, eTRIAGE (version 1.2.3) was rolled out in the Capital Health Region as a temporary electronic triage solution. In the years since then, the application has been extensively tested and refined.

eTRIAGE is the primary triage application in one Alberta urgent care clinic, and we are in the process of deploying it in three more emergency departments in the Edmonton Zone. At various times the application has also been licensed in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital. The latest version of eTRIAGE, version 1.3.2, has been in use in the two emergency departments at Scarborough Hospital in Ontario, integrated with the hospital's emergency department information system and self-registration kiosks.

eTRIAGE v 1.3.x content has been updated, effective 31 August, 2010, to maintain its compliance with the Canadian Emergency Department Information Systems (CEDIS) national working group chief complaint list and Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) national working group published content standard version 1.0.0 (effective date: 12 Nov 2009).