University of Iowa
Department of Family Medicine

FPInfo: Resources to support patient care

Super Triage FAQ

  1. What is Super Triage?  The Super Triage (ST) physician is a single access point for admissions to UI Hospitals and Clinics from our Emergency Department and from outside physicians. An ST physician is scheduled daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., an ED physician will be designated to be the ST doctor.


  1. What patients are involved?  Super Triage  affects only adult patients not admitted to ICU’s, Burn Center, OB, or Psych. Pediatric patients are not admitted through ST. Medical psychiatry admissions will be admitted through ST.


  1. Do I need ST for all admissions?  No, you do not need Super Triage if you are admitting a patient to your own service. You should contact ST  if you wish to admit to another service.


  1. Can I refuse a ST admissionNo, the Super Triage physician is the final arbiter of all admission decisions to UI Hospitals and Clinics. If you are assigned a patient by Super Triage, the patient will be admitted to your service. 


  1. What if I disagree with the ST decision?  You will accept and care for the patient assigned. You will then have the opportunity to submit a request for review in order to facilitate improvements to the system. We have created a feedback loop to evaluate these reviews in order to continually improve the ST process. After the EPIC upgrade this weekend, there will be a “Super Triage Review” link in the lower right corner of the home screen that you should use to request reviews of Super Triage Decisions. This email broadcast also has a copy of the form within it. If you need assistance please contact Dr. Theresa Brennan’s office for a copy at 467-5700.


  1. If I fill out a review, will the patient be moved?  No. The review process is not an appeals process. Patients will not be moved to another service based on the review. 


  1. What happens with the reviews?  All cases sent for review will be thoroughly evaluated by the Chief Medical Officer and appropriate specialty physicians. A decision will be made on the appropriateness of the admission and all parties will be informed of the results. You will be notified of the results of the review.


  1. Do I have to talk to outside physicians requesting patient transfer?  In most cases, the Super Triage physician will manage all inpatient transfers. If you are a triaging physician

for the ICU, you will be the contact physician for that unit. You will speak with the referring physician asking all necessary questions, and giving medically necessary recommendations as you deem appropriate. If the beds are full in your unit, you will be instructed by the Admission and Transfer Center whom to call to hand off the information (i.e., to an alternative unit). The receiving/admitting physician will be provided with the contact information for the referring physician in the rare instance that further information is necessary. Occasionally, an outside physician will want to speak with a consultant from a specific specialty. Such requests will continue to be honored as they are presently.


  1. What else will the ST physician do?  During the heaviest admission times, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, the ST will have this as their sole responsibility. The ST will, as a part of this duty, perform a follow up call to the referring physician’s office the day after the patient’s transfer. This will allow us to give the referring physician a quick update on the patient’s arrival, and provide the admitting physician’s name and his/her contact information.


10.      Why are we doing this?  Our hospital admission process has been consistently rated as poor by referring and internal providers. In addition, patient quality, safety, and satisfaction will be improved. ST will allow us to accept and, in some instances, deny patient admissions based on thorough and consistent processes. Finally, concentration of this responsibility with  a limited number of people allows the system to be continually improved over time.