The aim of this study was to report the time taken by geriatricians to reach triage decisions using an online assessment format compared with face-to-face (FTF) assessment. Patients (N = 166) were randomly allocated to two groups: online and FTF assessments (OF group); and dual FTF assessments (FF group). Case preparation was conducted by trained nurse assessors using a web-enabled clinical decision support system. Geriatricians allocated to perform an ‘online’ assessment had access to this information only. Geriatricians allocated FTF assessments reviewed this data, as well as the paper-based medical file and then consulted directly with the patient and attending staff. Data were collected in relation to time taken to complete OL assessments, compared with FTF assessments. A complete OL consultation averages 10 minutes, and a FTF consultation almost 26 minutes. In FTF consultations, less time is spent using the OL material when the geriatrician is aware that they will have access to the patient chart and need time to speak with the patient. The less time taken using the OL approach did not significantly alter the triage decisions made by the geriatricians.
- Comprehensive geriatric assessment
- online assessment