External validation of the Rapid Assessment Prioritisation and Referral Tool for multidisciplinary teams in medical assessment and planning units
Objective: The Rapid Assessment Prioritisation and Referral Tool (RAPaRT) was developed for identifying appropriate referrals to allied members of the multidisciplinary team in hospital medical assessment and planning units (MAPUs). This study examined the performance of the RAPaRT for identifying appropriate referrals as well as predicting requirement for admission to hospital and length of stay.
Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted. The RAPaRT, inclusive of seven mandatory items, was completed by nurses for 195 patients presenting to a hospital ED and assessed in a MAPU external to the instrument development site. Members of the multidisciplinary team (dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work and speech pathology) assessed participants to determine whether a referral to their profession was warranted and this was compared to RAPaRT responses.
Results: All health professionals reviewed n = 175/195 (90%) participants, with n = 117/195 (60%) considered appropriate for referral to an allied health professional. At least one positive response to the RAPaRT items was recorded for n = 123 (63%) participants. Patterns of sensitivity and specificity for each item, and the instrument as a whole were consistent with the development study. The RAPaRT also predicted which patients required admission to an acute hospital ward (odds ratio = 1.22; 95% CI 1.01, 1.47) and their length of stay in hospital (coefficient = 0.18; 95% CI 0.14, 0.22).
Conclusion: Findings supported the external validation of the RAPaRT. In addition, this investigation made a novel contribution in demonstrating that positive RAPaRT responses were associated with requirement for admission to an acute hospital ward and length of stay