Derivation of a typology for the classification of risks in emergency medicine

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To develop a graded classification system for risks in emergency medicine. To test the inter-user reliability of this classification system.


Prospective collection of data involving emergency department (ED) critical incidents. Derivation of classification system using the collected critical incidents. Comparison of results of classification of a sample of the critical incidents between different users of the system.


EDs in two teaching hospitals and two district general hospitals (DGHs) in the north west of England.


Interventions: Observational study.


Main outcomes: Classification system itself. Results of classification of same critical incidents by different users.


816 critical incidents were identified and used to derive a typology. This typology was found to have inter-user reliability score of 86% (95% confidence intervals 76.4% to 95.6%).


The typology that has been derived is a reliable tool for the classification of risks in emergency medicine.

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