A blinded, trained study assistant reviewed the de-identified computer-based registry records and conducted data extraction using a standard reporting template that contained clear definitions and codes. Data were collected from electronic charts, medical records, and nurses’ records, in particular each patient’s age and sex, primary reason for visiting the ED, ED diagnosis, time of visit, level of triage (according to TTAS), vital signs, and disposition. The number of ED patients awaiting general ward or intensive care unit (ICU) admission, the number of patients who stayed in the ED (at the scene or in an observation room), and the average waiting time for admission was also determined.

Patients who stayed at the scene (PSAS) were defined as patients whose disposition remained unresolved two hours after registration; meanwhile, patients who were placed in an observation room had a clear disposition: awaiting admission.

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