Secondary Triage

Ambulance Tasmania

Secondary Triage

Ambulance Tasmania is improving how we respond to 000 calls with a new process called Secondary Triage to ensure you get the right care, in the right place and at the right time.

Secondary Triage is used extensively, both nationally and internationally. Ambulance Victoria has been successfully using Secondary Triage for more than 15 years to deliver significant benefits to the Victorian community.

Thankfully, not all calls to 000 are emergencies. In practice, it has been found that a significant percentage of patients assessed by a paramedic do not need transport to hospital.

From 22 February 2021 when you call 000, your call will be assessed by one of our highly trained call takers, and, if you need an ambulance, you will get one.

However, if you are assessed as not needing immediate emergency ambulance attendance, you may be connected to an experienced, specially trained Paramedic or Registered Nurse over the phone in a process known as Secondary Triage.

During this assessment you will be asked the same questions a Paramedic or Registered Nurse would ask if they were treating you in person.

After assessing you over the phone, our Paramedics and Registered Nurses may be able to provide you with an appropriate alternative care option to ensure that you receive the right care for you. This may include:

  • Connecting you with a doctor or pharmacist
  • Sending other appropriate Ambulance Tasmania resources from AT, such as one of our Extended Care Paramedics (ECPs); or
  • Providing self-care advice so you can be treated safely in your own home.

Alternatively, our Secondary Triage Paramedics or Registered Nurses may recommend an emergency ambulance and will arrange to have one attend you.

At Ambulance Tasmania our patients are our priority and we are focused on providing the best care and most appropriate response to our patients’ needs, which is not always a trip to the emergency department.

Secondary Triage will help Ambulance Tasmania keep emergency ambulances available for life-threatening and serious cases where paramedic care is needed.

When you dial 000, your call is assessed by a Primary Triage call taker.  They will ask you questions like the location of the emergency and the type of incident.  If you need an ambulance, one will be dispatched  If the call taker assesses the call as suitable for an alternative care option, they will transfer you to Secondary Triage where a registered nurse or paramedic conducts a detailed clinical assessment.  If they decide you need an ambulance, one will be dispatched.      Alternatively, they may refer you to an extended care paramedic; your GP; a Telehealth GP; community, medical and social support services; or other transport options.

View larger Triage diagram