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J Emerg Nurs. 2004 Feb;30(1):22-9.

The Emergency Severity Index (version 3) 5-level triage system scores predict ED resource consumption.

Author information

1
Institute for Health Services and Policy, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The Emergency Severity Index (ESI) version 3 is a valid and reliable 5-level triage instrument that is gaining in popularity. A unique component of the ESI algorithm is prediction of resource consumption. Our objective was to validate the ESI version 3 triage algorithm in a clinical setting for the following outcome measures: actual resource consumption and patient length of stay in the emergency department and hospital.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective, descriptive study of 403 ED patients who presented to a large academic medical center. The following dependent variables were abstracted from the ED record: number of ED resources used and emergency department and hospital length of stay. The relationship between ESI level and each of the dependent variables was determined.

RESULTS:

Mean resource use decreased monotonically as a function of ESI level 1 (5), 2 (3.89), 3 (3.3), 4 (1.2) and 5 (0.2). The ED average length of stay (minutes) per ESI level was as follows: 1 (195), 2 (255), 3 (304), 4 (193), and 5 (98). ESI triage level did not predict hospital length of stay.

CONCLUSIONS:

The ESI algorithm accurately predicted ED resource intensity and gives administrators the opportunity to benchmark ED length of stay according to triage acuity level.

PMID:
14765078
DOI:
10.1016/j.jen.2003.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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