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


Journal Article

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tanabe, P; Gimbel, R; Yarnold, PR; Adams, JG

Published Date

  • February 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 22 - 29

PubMed ID

  • 14765078

Pubmed Central ID

  • 14765078

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-2966

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0099-1767

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jen.2003.11.004


  • eng